Sheridan Athletics Enter ‘Era of Excellence’ at 55th Annual Varsity Banquet

By Hayley Reid-Ginis

The Oakville Conference Centre was abuzz on April 11th as Sheridan’s athletic teams, coaches, and supporters celebrated their achievements for the 2023-2024 season.

Sheridan College boasts a dozen varsity sports teams, including men’s baseball, women’s flag football, cross country, and more. Sheridan Athletics has grown exponentially since the mid-1990s when the college only had two teams – men’s basketball and women’s volleyball.

Jim Flack, the Head Coach of men’s basketball and Masters of Ceremonies, enthusiastically welcomed guests to the banquet. His opening remarks illustrated a strong sense of pride in the community for their achievements throughout the season.

“I urge you, as we move forward into an era of excellence, that we be the torchbearer that we are, that people think we are,” said Jim Flack. “We have to be the ones to carry the flame forward that says you can win with integrity.”

Following Flack’s inspirational message, a video featuring Dr. Janet Morrison, President & Vice Chancellor, was played. Though she couldn’t attend the banquet in person, Sheridan College’s President and former student-athlete expressed her best wishes virtually.

Before dinner, the OCAA All-Academic Awards were presented to athletes who played a varsity sport and carried a grade point average of 3.6 or above. Award winners were congratulated for honouring the Sheridan Athletics mantra – Study. Compete. Graduate. Succeed.

Later, the remaining awards were presented following a heartfelt thank you to the marketing team that worked with Sheridan Athletics. A highlight reel was played featuring clips from all varsity sports. This was met with infectious camaraderie from a captive audience.

Varsity Letter Awards were given to those who achieved a certain number of years of service as an athlete, combined with individual achievements based on a point system. These awards featured a chenille double-blue Sheridan S.

Alison Jackson was given an Honourary Varsity Letter Award as someone outside a specific athletic sphere for her work as an advocate, supporter, and quasi-counsellor for Sheridan Athletics.

The Coach of the Year award was presented to Stuart Hooper, the Women’s Volleyball coach, for his outstanding work giving the program a boost of energy. Hooper accepted the award with gratitude, thanking the team for their dedication and effort.

A newer trophy awarded to the Team of the Year was presented to the men’s basketball team. The athletes were excited to accept the big bear, a trophy created in 2021 to congratulate the team that best represents Sheridan Athletics’ values and traditions.

The Sheridan Sun was honoured to present Paulo Amotun Lokoro with the Most Newsworthy Athlete award. Lokoro is a two-time Olympian who is proud to now represent Sheridan in double-blue as a member of the men’s cross-country team. He was also presented with the Men’s Athlete of the Year award and his second OCAA championship ring. Paulo Amotun Lokoro’s story is one of dedication and tenacity, and he, like all student-athletes, embodies what it means to be a Bruin.

The Women’s Athlete of the Year Award was given to another cross-country athlete, Mette Siemens. She finished 10th at the OCAA Championship race and qualified for the CCAA Nationals.

Other awards included the Rob Till Student Citizenship Award, and the Men and Women’s Double Blue Scholar Award.

Flack congratulated all the student-athletes on their achievements this season and encouraged continued success.

 “We have the most progressive, fair, and equitable scholarship system in the province. We have academic support, we have great coaching, and we have great facilities.” Flack said. “You belong to a school where anybody across the country, when you hear that name, it means academic and athletic excellence.”