On April 13th, Sheridan Athletics marked the return of their Annual Varsity Banquet.
The banquet was held at the Oakville Conference Centre for the first time in-person since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 54th banquet was met with a full house of student-athletes, coaches, and staff.
Nadeka Boothe, the event organizer, was excited to see the banquet be brought back in person, “This is one of the most vibrant events of the year because we get to see all of our student-athletes together and it really just reminds you of the bread and butter of what we do, ” says Boothe.
The banquet was created in 1969 to celebrate and acknowledge the achievements and hard work of all Sheridan student-athletes. The banquet marks the end of the 2022-2023 school year and the end of the sports season for many of the teams.
Athletes were nominated for awards for all sports offered by Sheridan College, including cross-country running, volleyball, soccer, and many more. Coaches and staff were also highlighted and awarded for their contributions to their teams as well.
Prior to the beginning of the opening ceremony, a small celebration was held to honour this year’s Athlete of the Year, Paulo Amotun Lokoro. Lokoro thanked everyone for their support before leaving the banquet as he was unable to stay for the full award ceremony.
The event began with opening remarks presented by Athletics Director, Jim Flack, who served as master of ceremonies. “I tell people all the time that when they walk in here you are in for a treat. It’s not just the food which is always great here but it is the appearance, it’s the way the room looks that bleeds Sheridan,” said Flack.
Alongside Flack, opening remarks were also presented by Maria Lucido-Bezely, Dean of Students, and Carol Altilia, Provost and Vice President of Academics who both praised the student-athletes for their hard work and dedication to both the sport they play and their academics. The opening remarks were closed out by the presentation of the OCAA All-Academic Awards which were presented by Jackie Lung.
Presentations for the remaining awards began after dinner with the Sheridan Varsity Letters, which are awarded to students who have successfully participated in multiple years in a varsity sport combined with team results and provincial or national awards. Katherine Konkle, Letter Winner and nominee for Athlete of the Year was surprised to have received a Sheridan Letter, “Honestly I’m shocked but I’m feeling pretty good,” says Konkle.
The award presentations continued for Coach of the Year, Team of the Year, Sheridan Sun Award, Rob Till Student Citizenship Award, Athletes of the Year, and the Double-Blue Scholar Awards.
The Sheridan Sun was proud to present the award for Most Newsworthy Athlete to Rahim Thorpe. Rahim’s many accomplishments include scoring 19 goals in nine matches for the 2022-2023 men’s soccer season and being named the OCAA West Division first-team all-star. Rahim took a few moments to say thanks to his team and supporters after receiving his award, followed by his teammates cheering loudly from their seats in response.
The banquet ended following the presentation of the Double-Blue Scholar Awards which is provided by The Sky Blue Fund. The Sky Blue Fund was created to be a scholarship for student-athletes in an attempt to lighten their workload. Recently the fund surpassed the 2.2 million dollar mark and is continuing to grow with each donation. Two Sheridan coordinators, presented the final awards before Flack closed the award ceremony for the evening.
Flack thanked the many staff members and organizations that worked together to put on the evening before final wishes for the upcoming sport season, “As we move forward, coaches, let’s take it a step further and let’s get on the podium more often and get more people across the graduation stage,” said Flack before wishing everyone a safe trip home.