StFX Swim Team

 
 

Making waves in 2019

For the first time in their history, the StFX Swim Team has fundraised to hire a dedicated, professional coach. I sat down with Craig MacFarlane, swim team coach, and Tyler Thorne, Swim Team president, to discuss their newly found partnership, and their aspirations for the future of the team.

***

EDK: Thanks so much for taking some time out of your day to join me for this interview. Why don’t we start with your name, and a little background on your own personal journey?

CMF: Sounds great. My name is Craig MacFarlane, I swam when I was a youngster many years ago – swam the 1500 averaging about 18 minutes, although we’re talking a long time ago. 

Started with the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association. I did that by about 4 years and knew the grind. For instance, waking up on a Quebec morning at 4:30am and biking to the metro underground and catching the bus for practice at 5:30am. 

It really helped me develop an appetite for better things. Faster. Further. Higher.

EDK: That all sounds incredible. How did you manage to find your way to Antigonish?

CMF: I guess I’m blessed. I’m honestly elated and honoured to be here, to be part of StFX. It’s a good question – they say the long way there is the short way home. I suppose I returned to Canada – I was in the United States for a while – I transitioned into nursing it didn’t click, so I was certified in swimming. Fortunately, I met Tyler (Swim Team president) through recruitment. We had a good starting and it really worked quite well.

EDK: You arrived here quite recently, two days prior to the start of term. Are you excited for what’s ahead? 

CMF: Absolutely. I graduated from St. Mary’s in Halifax, so I had a feeling for the Nova Scotian people. I suppose you can’t generalize people, but those that I’ve met have been nice people. They’re courteous, they’re pleasant, they’re generous. Just wonderful.

EDK: I absolutely agree. Moving forward with the swim team, have you been able to gauge their abilities as a team, and could you speak to where you’d like to take the team in the future?

CMF: Well, keep in mind I’ve only had two weeks with them. The first week was really an evaluation, with the second week being my pushing them to see what buttons I could poke. I’m very pleased with the attitudes, very pleased with the efforts. Just a very positive group in general.

EDK: They seem very eager to learn.

CMF: It’s probably an attribute of StFX, of the young people here.

TT: We’re a very athletic school – it seems like we’re quite innately athletic.

EDK: I’d agree. And looking forwards, perhaps both of you could collaborate on this answer, but when you look forwards a few years from now, where do you hope to see the team?

TT: Sure. My whole goal with this presidency was to get the team essentially pushed in a direction where they were both a) more competitive and b) at a level where we could transition to become a varsity team. That’s been the goal of every president on this team since its inception. 

Normally we would hire education students that would coach for one or two years. Not to say they weren’t capable, but the idea is if we want to have a varsity team, we need to build it into one beforehand. When looking at a team, they would have a competent, consistent and stable coach, someone who would be able to dedicate more time to the team as opposed to being part time as a student. 

Now that Craig is here, I’m hoping that we can transform the next group of incoming swimmers and make them stick. Once they’re in there, we want to be as competitive as possible and training for meets as soon as possible.

An issue that we’re always had is no one is ever sure where they’re going, or what the level of competition was. Now with this new atmosphere, we should be building a base of competitive swimmers to the point where we can make a decent case to advocate for varsity.

EDK: I suppose the assumption is once you get these people who have been swimming at a competitive level in high school, you can lock them in at the beginning of the school year, keep the skills up and ensure you have continuity over four to six years.

TT: That’s the big one. Getting those people from high school on the team and keeping them there.

EDK: Craig would you agree? In terms of where you’d like to see the trajectory of this team in the future?

CMF: Yes. I think varsity is achievable. As a matter of fact, I was looking at some other universities, I won’t mention who, but some that are competing in U Sports, and there’s one that competes in U Sports that swims less than us. I’ll be very frank with you – the quality of the swimmers is better than I expected. Especially on some of the more difficult strokes like butterfly. Obviously, it needs improving, there’s always opportunities for improvement, but I find that promising.

EDK: For those who will read this article and aren’t aware of the divisional standards in swimming, could you elaborate on the difference between club and varsity, as well as masters versus open.

TT: The difference between varsity and club is largely competition based; by that I mean are you able to compete with each other? Varsity teams will compete at a varsity level, whereas club teams cannot. As well, varsity teams receive more funding. That means they can afford more equipment, more pool time, etc. The club teams on campus, you can see they have that more social aspect to them. They do compete, but a lot of the time there’s not a big commitment, no contracts, you’re not getting recruited. So that’s the big divide.

With masters versus open – masters is 18+, and open  is self-explanatory, open to everyone. The reason we swim masters is we want swimmers competing against people their own age. 

When you get into open, you’re going to get into an area where there are really, really good swimmers who are a lot younger than you. It can be discouraging, especially for those who aren’t extremely competitive swimmers. Now, however, that we’re a lot more competitive, I think it’s definitely time to look at going back into open. I think we can definitely compete at that level. That’s a better route, a more competitive route, which puts us on a better trajectory to varsity.

EDK: Do you see any issue with the transition from club to varsity, in terms of retention of current members on the team? For instance, if you were to transition towards becoming a more competitive, varsity-aimed team, would you end up having to cut those who were less competitive on the team?

CMF: The term cut, I really don’t like. We have enough pool space right now that we don’t have to cut anybody. I would hope that we will be developing confidence to go to friendlies and eventually competitions, because we are moving to the next level. For the purpose of building confidence, rather than use the word cut, I would rather poke people and let them know that if they want to compete, they really have to go out and train. 

And for that matter, there are some people who probably don’t need to grind too much more and could attend competitions right. Before any cuts, I want to enforce the idea of confidence building and preparation, allowing us to then go outside of our pool.

EDK: I do suppose it would be a gradual transition, rather than a hammer drop. Besides, you’d need competitors to be at a level of varsity competition before being given the name.

CMF: Yes. The only other dimension on that is that the more social swimmer will progress less rapidly than the competitive swimmer. So, there is more of a variability in the training and coaching, which adds a bit of a drag.

TT: I think we’ll definitely see a slow transition, rather than any sort of rapid name switch. That just won’t happen. By the time we’re ready to do it, we’ll have very competitive swimmers who will be keen to demonstrate their skills.

EDK: That’s great. I’ve touched everything I wanted to cover, would either of you like to add anything?

TT: I’ll just say I think the team is in a really exciting place right now. If there are any swimmers on campus who are looking to keep up their training, now is a really exciting time to get in on it, because we are a lot more established than we have been in the past. This is the most competitive direction we’ve been going in since the inception of the team. So, overall I’m just really excited for their future.

EDK: Phenomenal. Thank you for joining me, both of you. It looks like the swim team has some exciting years ahead.

 

Changes to Hockey House Cup Season

 
 

How they are adapting with changes in Residence Affairs

As each new year is bestowed, StFX’s students leave their hometowns and cities to return to the quiet town of Antigonish for a second semester of the academic year. Other than courses and weather, not much changes about StFX in the new semester. One thing that proves to make the spring on campus so unique, however, is hockey house cups.

Hockey house cups are a long standing tradition at StFX. House cup season often takes place over the span of three months, starting in January and ending in March. The season entails numerous hockey games amongst rival residences to vie for trophies, the preferred after-party and more importantly, bragging rights.

Residences at this school have many unique traditions and dynasties, some of which had outlasted the very walls of the buildings they occupy. These games have proven to be some of the biggest athletic and social events on campus. They bring together players and spectators alike to cheer for the houses that welcomed them into their first home and family at StFX.

Since last year, there have been a number of changes to residences on the StFX campus. Residences Cameron and MacKinnon hall have become coed residences. Cameron hall, formerly divided into boys’ houses, MacDonald and MacPherson, and girls’ house, TNT. MacKinnon was formerly made up of all-girls house, Chillis, and all-boys house, MacNeil. MacIsaac hall was reopened to first year students, and Lane hall has closed.

Due to these changes, there has been some major differences between this year’s house cup season and the ones in the past.

Because of the closure of Lane hall, the game between Lane and Fraser known as LaSer will no longer take place. Those living in Fraser will compete alongside other houses in Bishops (Burke and Plessis) against Mount Saint Bernard. This game is set to happen on February 2 at 10pm.

Plessis has competed against Mount Saint Bernard in the past, however Burke has historically been known to compete against MacIsaac in the infamous BurMac. This year, MacIssac will instead play against Off-Campus on February 8 at 10pm.

Photo: G. La Photography

Photo: G. La Photography

The following night, February 9, will be the annual Bath Tub Cup between new res’ rivals Riley and O’Regan. This is the last hockey house cup to take place before reading week.

After returning from reading week, students can look forward to more action-packed hockey games with two tournaments.

TriMac, a three game tournament between MacPherson, MacDonald and MacNeil will take place from February 28 through to March 2. MacNeil will face MacDonald on February 28 and MacPherson on March 1. MacDonald and MacPherson will face off on March 2. This year will be different for TriMac as boys living in TNT or Chillis will be able to compete for any chosen neighbouring house.

From March 12 to March 17 there will be a female tournament for all residences. Houses will be divided into an upper campus pool and lower campus pool. MacIsaac, Off-Campus, Mount Saint Bernard will compete in the Upper Campus pool and Bishops, TNT, Chillis will compete in the Lower Campus Pool. On March 17 there will be a Championship game between the top teams of each pool. Girls living in MacPherson, MacDonald and MacNeil will be able to compete for their respective neighbouring houses.

TNT second year and house president, Kyra Tessier was happy to comment on the upcoming tournaments. “We’re really excited because it’ll be cool to see all three of the houses in Cameron hall actively playing in TriMac!”

Third year House Council Coordinator Sam Bardwell also cared to comment on the changes to the traditional house cups. “It’s also really exciting that we were able to preserve the tradition of a girls TNT/Chillis.” She added, “and it’s awesome that it was able to turn into a big tournament to give all the girls on campus a chance to play!”

 

History Made at NHL All-Star Skills Competition

 
 

First time ever a woman has competed in the event

U.S. Women’s hockey star Kendall Coyne Schofield skated in the fastest skater competition, making her the first woman to compete in an NHL all-star skills competition. Not only did she participate but she also had an impressive time putting her in competitive standing with the others.

Earlier that day, Schofield learnt of her chance to compete in Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon’s place, as he suffered injury. She had already been invited to the all-star weekend with other women’s players, including Brianna Decker, but this was a huge chance to make history.

Known for her speed, she took on the challenge and impressed everyone in the arena. Schofield raced around the rink in 14.346 seconds, a time that placed her 7th out of 8 players. She beat an NHLer and impressed all of her top competitors. Connor McDavid, who won the speed competition commented on her success. “When she took off, I was like, ‘Wow!’” He continued to commend her speed and said, “I thought she might have won the way she was moving. She was a really good skater and that was an amazing thing for the game to see her participate like that in an event like this.”

Schofield wasn’t the only female to be recognized widely by the media and public for her talent that night. Brianna Decker, another U.S. women’s hockey star, had an outstanding showing in the passing challenge on the Friday night. Her time, although unofficial, was 1:06 minutes, putting her three seconds faster than the best men’s time of Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers. The reason her time did not count was because it wasn’t recorded by officials, it was recorded by spectators at home who took to social media.

While this is an incredible feat to reach for a woman in hockey, her time did not count simply because she was only providing a demonstration of the event and not competing. The male winner of this event was granted $25 000 U.S.D. in prize money and this left many hockey fans unsettled. This prompted the trended hashtag, #paydecker.

The fact of the matter was that Decker was not a part of this competition. She, as well as other members of the WNHL were present at the all-star skills event in order to grow with members of the NHL rather than compete against them. Where the public’s frustration may have rooted from was the lack of recognition for women’s athletic achievements in general, and large pay gap between the two different leagues.

American sportswriter and radio personality Greg Wyshynski was quick to defend the NHL and how they recognized the women at the all-star event. Wyshynski clarified on twitter that players Decker, Schofield, as well as Rebecca Johnston and Renata Fast were commended for their part in the competition with $25 000 U.S.D. each to charities of their choice. His tweet stated, “The U.S. and Canadian women’s players involved in the skills competition are honored at the game, and the NHL is donating $25,000 each to the charities of their choice #NHLAllStar.”

The well known hockey brand, CCM sent Decker a congratulatory letter highlighting her achievement. “The CCM Hockey family would like to congratulate you on your performance at last night’s skills competition. 1:06, that’s pretty fast!” the letter said. It continued by granting her the $25,000 U.S.D. prize money out of their own pocket. “We understand the importance of recognizing female hockey players and are pleased to give you the $25,000 that you deserve. You are an ambassador for growing the women’s game and we are so proud to have you on the CCM team.”

Schofield plays for the Minnesota Whitecaps in the Women’s National Hockey League (WNHL). Decker plays for the Calgary Inferno of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL). 

The two women won an Olympic gold medal for the United States this past February in South Korea.

 

Canada’s 2019 Food Guide

 
 

New food guide to advise less meat, less dairy, and more company

Canada’s new food guide is expected to be released in the spring of 2019. It is anticipated that it will differ greatly from the previous “food rainbow” that has hung on the walls of classrooms and dietetic offices for decades.

The first Canadian Food Guide was published in 1942. At the time it was used to promote and support agriculture and the rural economy. Since then, there have been very little changes to the food guide. Our previous food guide was a simple demonstration of what most of the population knows to be four food groups: fruits and vegetables, grains, milk and alternatives, and meat and alternatives. The four classifications were seen on a rainbow design featuring a number of food examples.

This year’s food guide has a proposed illustration of lots of whole-grain foods, plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as protein foods. Notable changes will be the lack of acknowledgement for dairy, as well as referring to the previous meat and alternatives group as “proteins.” The new illustration is also said to be missing fruit juice as an example, as it is no longer seen by dieticians as a healthy necessity to children or adults.

Protein foods will include tofu, beans, fish, nuts, and peanut butter, with meat and milk also featured as two of the 28 examples. This is very telling to how much change we’ve seen in how the world and Canadians view dairy and meat products. When the food guide was created more than half a century ago, food security was problematic, and our milk and meat products were often produced by local businesses. Unfortunately, this is no longer the reality for Canadian consumers. With a number of societal, environmental, and industrial changes, the new food guide will be following suit.

According to recent research published by The Guardian, humans and livestock make up 96% of all mammals. Milk and dairy consumes a vast majority of farmland and contributes to extreme climate change and pollution, yet it only accounts for 18% of all food calories and only one third of protein. To put it simply, the dairy and meat industry is causing more harm than good.

Deforestation for farm space, methane emissions, and fertilizer use causes the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as planes, trains and automobiles combined. There is a suggested shift that scientists advice is needed to adjust our future to a sustainable one. Researchers say the average citizen needs to eat 75% less beef, 90% less pork and half the number of eggs, while tripling consumption of beans and pulses and quadrupling nuts and seeds.

The Guardian refers to 2019 as a “key year in the overhaul of a broken food system.”

Interestingly enough, another significant change expected in the food guide is not necessarily the what? Rather, the question is how? 

There is expected to be thorough advice on the habits Canadians should be exhibiting in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This includes cooking more, enjoying your meals, eating with others, and drinking more water all the time.

This new food guide is expected to stray from its original purpose of sponsoring the agricultural economy, and will be geared towards promoting a better quality of life for Canadians. There will be less emphasis on servings and specific types of food, and more focus on nutrients, how much we need, and our habits.

 

Student Reporting in University Sports

 
 

UOttawa’s issue with gendered reporting

On the first week of December, The Fulcrum (Student newspaper for Ottawa University) published a “Top five Gee-Gees moments of 2018.” Among the five was the championship for women’s soccer, wins over Carleton in men’s hockey and football, and a silver medal for a 60m runner. Conspicuously absent from the five was the women’s rugby team third place showing at the 2018 U Sports National Championship. 

The article was written by Andrew Price, the current editor of the sports section. He commented on the reasoning:

“They kind of had a disappointing end to their season, didn’t play all that well at nationals. It was the year before when they won their big championship and I could’ve included the RSEQ championship I suppose, but we covered them a lot.” 

At NASH81, the annual student journalism conference for universities around Canada, The Fulcrum won Student Publication of the Year for the 2018 John H. McDonald Award for excellence in student journalism. This was voted on by other student papers, who recognized the great work The Fulcrum was doing.

They have recently gone from a weekly publication to monthly prints. They, like many others around the country, have been forced to primarily online content. This is likely due to the cuts in funding to the paper’s budget.

The UOttawa Gee-Gees women’s rugby team had a dominant year in 2018, after winning the national title in 2017. 7-0 in the regular season, culminating in a fifth consecutive undefeated RSEQ regular season. One such win by a 113- 0 margin. They also defeated StFX in an exhibition match.

StFX rugby manager Carolyn Williams spoke out on Facebook about the exclusion of the team, stating:

“It’s disappointing to see the lack of recognition for not just women’s rugby, but women’s sports in general.”

Women’s and men’s sports in university are even, regardless of the number of spectators who show up. Equal representation in reporting for these teams is vital. It could be forgiven if the women teams did not accomplish much this year, yet this was far from the case. Four of the five moments in the article were about a male athlete or male team.

A fifth year player for the Gee-Gees, Erin Mcallan commented:

“It seems like for males to get recognition all they need to do is qualify for the playoffs whereas female teams (i.e., our womens soccer team) actually need to win a national championship to be recognized.”

Perhaps it was a case of success apathy for the rugby team. The consistency of five straight conference championships could elicit a malaise from reporters. 

Yet, combing through the Fulcrum sports page, it was apparent that women sport was equally covered in day-to-day articles. Write-ups on sports ranging from Volleyball to Basketball were present.

Andrew spoke further, stating that they assign awards at the end of the year called the Calvary Awards. These will be more indicative of the whole season and will hopefully include more female teams and individuals.

It is important to remember that universities have two news outlets for sports information. One for the student newspapers, and one that represents the athletic department. For example, StFX has goxgo.ca, which consists of a communications director that does the recaps for each game. This director is employed by the athletic department. The Xaverian Weekly on the other hand, is not tied to the athletic or administrative department, and relies solely on student journalists.

Mcallan also mentioned that this story was a “bit of a constant theme at UOttawa, that most of the support, and media attention goes to our male sports teams regardless of how well they perform.”

Last month, U Sports reported that the University of Ottawa will be host for the 2019 Women’s Rugby Championship, the second time being selected as hosts. Perhaps having the tournament on home turf will garner more recognition for a team with regular season dominance that mirrors StFX’s own rugby team.

 

World Juniors 2019

 
 

A bad loss on the ice and a worse backlash on the internet

Our Team Canada representing at the 2019 IIHF World Juniors left the country and world stunned in a 2-1 loss from Finland in the quarter-finals of the tournament. This would mark the first time ever that Canada would not contend for a medal on home soil.

Finland players and fans were found celebrating their overtime goal. Canadian goaltender, Michael DiPietro of Windsor, ON would be found fallen to the ice in misery. Captain Maxime Comtois of Longueuil, QC, would be heard telling interviewers, “We lost and it’s tough right now.” Meanwhile a broken Bauer stick would be laying somewhere in Rogers Arena in Vancouver BC, holding all the lost hope Canada had in winning.

Losing a game of such importance can be extremely upsetting to these young boys, all under the age of 20, but to make matters worse, some Canadians took to social media to make their hateful feelings known. These comments, along with a bold note from one Finnish Company only added insult to injury.

Specifically, Comtois fell victim to online abuse because of his failed penalty shot in overtime. His integrity as a player, leader and human being were all called to question.

Roy Sports Group, representing Comtois, put out the following statement:

“It is shameful and incomprehensible that a few cowards who can hide behind social media could make such vicious attacks on these young men’s character after they have battled their hearts out for their country. We will make this one and only statement on this subject, so not to validate anymore the cowardly comments made on social media. It was Maxime’s idea to use this as a learning moment for all of the youth of Canada, that cyber bullying is a real problem, and like all bullies, we all need to stand up to them and call them out for what they are.”

Noah Dobson, a native of Summerside, PEI, shared similar heartbreak to that of Comptois. During the same overtime, Dobson had his stick break on the ice right before shooting the puck on an open net. In addition to nasty comments and posts on social media, one Finnish hockey stick company, PAMA, managed to make matters worse.

“Dear Noah! We at PAMA Hockey feel sorry that your equipment gave up on you at the worst possible moment. We know how polite the Canadians are, so we want to give you this Finnish hockey stick, PAMA PHX Carbon as a gift for a great hockey game. We hope the best for your upcoming career!” The note was signed by CEO Antti-Jussi Tiitola of PAMA Hockey, Finland.

After having lost to Finland in the deciding game, this was one final unwarranted jab at the young team.

It is so important that this negativity is addressed and not condoned. The participants of the IIHF World Juniors are younger than 20 years old and should not be facing hatred from the country they dedicated all their waking hours to. At any age, Canadian hockey players deserve a round of applause for consistently staying classy, disciplined, and skilled. These young boys will go on to be stars in the NHL just like the current stars that were in their skates before.

We must recognize as a country that Canadian hockey is not getting worse, but the rest of the world is improving and in this tournament’s case, has caught up. The good old game has expanded internationally over the last century into a phenomenon that James Creighton, Stompin’ Tom Connors, and all Canadians should be proud of.

 

Atlantic Schooners to host CFL game in August 2019

 
 

First CFL visit to Atlantic Canada since 2013

Schooners Sports and Entertainment (SSE) is thrilled to announce that “Touchdown Atlantic” will return to the East Coast this coming summer. 

The 2019 edition of “Touchdown Atlantic” will feature the Toronto Argonauts playing host to the Montreal Alouettes on August 25, 2019, in what promises to be a pivotal Eastern Division regular season Canadian Football League (CFL) showdown. 

“This wonderful opportunity was recently presented to us by the league and the Argos,” said Anthony LeBlanc, SSE Founding Partner. “We have begun conversations with a number of potential locations with an expectation to announce a host site by the end of January.” 

The game, presented by the Atlantic Schooners Football Club, will mark the first CFL game to be played in Atlantic Canada since 2013. 

“We are looking forward to celebrating our game with our friends and fans in Atlantic Canada,” said Randy Ambrosie, Commissioner of the CFL.

Schooners Sports and Entertainment, a group of investors currently working to secure a CFL expansion franchise in Atlantic Canada, will announce details on the Sunday, August 25 game, including its location, early in the new year.

Schooners Sports and Entertainment (SSE) is an ownership group of three individuals.

Anthony LeBlanc, the former co-owner and CEO of an NHL franchise with roots in New Brunswick.

Bruce Bowser, a national business owner from Dartmouth

Gary Drummond, an entrepreneur and former NHL co-owner and executive from Western Canada. 

With the support of Atlantic Canadians, SSE is working to bring a CFL franchise to the region and advance a proposal for a multi-use events centre at Shannon Park in Halifax Regional Municipality.

 

Movember 2018

 

Talking Saves Lives

The key to a perfect mustache is to wash it with the salt waters of the beaches of Arisaig and brush it daily with a comb forged of a thousand X-Rings. At least that is what Sean Ryan, the General Manager of the Student’s Union, said in a promotional video, “Beginners Tips for ‘Stache Growth,” produced by the StFX Movember Foundation. It also helps when you’ve “earned the trust of a man’s best friend,” Ryan says while he cuddles up to a precious puppy.

The purpose of Movember month is publicized as “stopping men from dying to young,” and the Movember Foundation’s efforts have been thriving year over year. While participation has grown immensely, as has the number of health issues being addressed and tackled by the foundation. Some of the most considerable health issues faced by men daily include prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health and suicide prevention.

The Movember Foundation’s online page is an informative hub full of information for all. There you will learn that prostate cancer has a 98% survival rate if detected early enough, but 26% survival rate if detected late. Their advice? Get checked when you’re 50 years old, or 45 if you have familial history of prostate cancer.

One will also learn from the Movember website that in Canada, testicular cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in young men. From there you can learn statistics, how to do monthly checks, and further facts about testicular cancer. For example, side effects, treatment options, and even testimonials from men who have gone through the situation themselves.

Two of the final but extremely important issues that Movember addresses is men’s mental health and suicide prevention. Globally, the rate of suicide is alarmingly high, especially among men. 75% of suicides in Canada are men. Globally, every minute a man dies by suicide. Too many men are ‘toughing it out,’ keeping their feelings to themselves and struggling in silence. The Movember Foundation is striving to reduce the rate of male suicide by 25% by 2030. Thankfully, it has thousands of participants to help the foundation get there.

At this very moment, the Movember Foundation is the sole charity undertaking men’s health internationally, and although not all of us can grow the ideal mustache like Sean Ryan’s, there are certainly more opportunities to raise money for the great cause. If growing your mo’ isn’t an option, there is a physical challenge being proposed and taken on as an alternative.

Michelle Roussy, second year Bachelor of Education student, is taking part in the Move Challenge and has committed to running a 150km goal by the end of the month. This is an excellent way to bring more mindfulness to men’s health because while women can evidently not partake in growing a mustache, they can definitely show their support. “Movember is an amazing awareness month that brings attention to men’s health issues. Besides who doesn’t like a man with a great mustache?!” says Roussy.

Movember is not only important for men and men’s health, it is also important for men to pay attention to the cause. Everyone in Canada somehow directly or indirectly knows somebody affected by prostate or testicular cancer. 

It is important to encourage our loved ones and ourselves to take care, and check on our health every so often. Mental health requires care at all times. It is important to speak out, have conversations and be there for one another. In a video created by the Movember Foundation, a man courageously says, “to be a man of less anxiety, I had to become a man of more words.”

 
 

5 Tips to Help You Have a Healthier Homestretch

 

From your Dietetic Intern Emily Mork, BSc HNU 2018

You’ve survived the passing deadlines, the midterms, the group project meetings, the papers and assignments. You’re almost there, the end of first semester. With finals looming and study hours adding up, it’s important to not just survive but thrive during the dreaded exam season. 

Here are a few of the best tips for maintaining healthy habits during the high stress times:

1. Conscious effort

Making an effort to maintain your healthy habits during exams can make the world of a difference! It is common for students to deprive themselves of sleep, exercise and proper nutrition during exams for a variety of different reasons – but just because it’s common doesn’t mean it’s okay. Instead of justifying your lack of sleep, poor eating or exercise habits and blaming it on the season, make an effort to live the life you did before studying consumed your schedule. 

This might mean aiming for 8 hours of sleep, but knowing a solid 6 is more realistic or choosing to walk to the library instead of driving. Sneaking in as much physical activity and sleep as your schedule can handle will help you feel motivated to choose more nutritious options. Just try your best!

2. Prep & pack is the way to go – limit convenience options

It’s super tempting to pick up a fast-food breakfast sandwich en route to the library for a full day of studying, but convenience options are typically high in fat and sodium and could leave you feeling groggy and hungry shortly after. Try packing your own snacks and meals ahead of time. I promise, the extra 15 minutes it takes before bed to pack a nutritious lunch is so worth it the next day, not to mention you’ll save money! Find an option that is easy to pack and go that you’re actually excited to eat – there’s no sense in packing plain veggie sticks if you’re dreading eating them during your afternoon study break. 

A few of my favourites are salt and vinegar rice chips, air popped popcorn, hummus and veggies, pretzels and cheese or apple with peanut butter. Choosing a snack or meal with both carbohydrates and protein will keep you fuller (and focused) for longer. I’m not saying to forgo exam time treats altogether, but I do believe that saving bagels or burgers for after your hardest final (or if you have two exams back-to-back) will make it taste that much better!

3. Breakfast is key

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it’s even more important during exams! A balanced breakfast will help fuel your studying by helping you to remain focused and providing your brain the energy it needs to retain information. While a good breakfast is the ideal start to a study day, it is absolutely essential to eat before a 9am final! I cannot stress this enough! Waking up earlier before those dreaded morning exams to enjoy a coffee and a well rounded meal will help you feel energized, satisfied and confident before entering your exam – and maybe provide you an opportunity to review your notes one more time if you’re into that. 

Make ahead breakfast options like overnight oats, or omelet cups are great options that are inexpensive, easy to prepare and nutritious

4. Stay hydrated – iced coffee doesn’t count!

Did you know that adults should consume no more than 400 mg of caffeine per day? That’s equivalent to 2 small coffees from the SUB or Mini Moe’s! Drinking too much coffee during exams may have the opposite affect you intended as overconsumption of caffeine can lead to trouble sleeping, headaches and nervousness, which are not symptoms you want to feel in addition to stress. If you’re a coffee drinker, limit yourself to 2 cups per day and spread them out, for example have one in the morning and one later in the afternoon as opposed to drinking them back-to-back. Ensure you are consuming plenty of other fluids during exams, preferably water whenever possible. Dehydration can have many of the same symptoms of being over caffeinated - headaches or light-headedness, trouble focusing and tiredness. Carry a water bottle with you throughout the day, make some flavoured or infused water or consider trying a sparkling option with no added sugar to help keep you drinking. 

The bottom line to avoiding unnecessary headaches and nerves is to drink more water and less coffee this exam season. 

5. Potlucks

Finally, get together with friends and classmates to use what’s left in your fridge and freezer with a potluck meal. Collaborate to avoid buying more groceries this close to the break and get creative in the kitchen! Soups, casseroles, or pasta are great options that you can make, share and hopefully have leftovers to pack for your next day at the library. Cooking with friends is a great way to unwind, relax and take a break from your books without wasting time to enjoy the social aspect of eating. This is also a great opportunity to hang out with your friends before the long winter break - the more the merrier!

Hopefully with these tips you can have your healthiest exam season yet. Keep an eye on our Instagram account @stfxsportnutrition for some exam time recipe ideas. 

Just think, this is the final stretch before enjoying all of those yummy holiday goodies and if that’s not motivation, I don’t know what is! Wishing you the best of luck and happy holidays, you’ve got this!

 
 

Gregor Chisholm Interview

 

StFX alumni and current Blue Jays Reporter talks breaking into the industry and Bautista!

Bowen Assman interviewed Gregor Chisholm on October 11 2018. Gregor is a 2005 StFX HKIN alumnus, graduate of Ryerson University in journalism, and is currently entering into his ninth season as a Blue Jays reporter for MLB.com.

                  * * *

BA: How’s it going? Are you on vacation now that the Blue Jays season is done?

GC: Yes, kind of, until the offseason, as they are searching for a new manager right now, so I am still doing some stuff, but for the most part, nothing really happens until the World Series is done. Then things will pick up, with trades and free agency. But, normally October is really slow if the team you are covering isn’t in the postseason. But it is a little bit busier this year because of the search for a new manager, but I get a couple weeks off to rest and recharge.

BA: So, you were originally a sports reporter for The Xaverian Weekly back in University, and you also worked with The U. Did you always see yourself working within sports?

GC: I did actually, I took a weird route to get there, but even when I went to school at StFX, I mean I grew up in St. John New Brunswick, so I kind of even knew when I was in grade two that I wanted to go into sports journalism, But I did not want to move to Toronto right away. I had some ties to Antigonish as my Dad was originally from there, and my grandparents lived there. I used to go to basketball games there as a kid, so I always kind of liked StFX. I figured that I would go and get my undergrad at StFX, and then eventually go to Ryerson, as it had a post-grad journalism program, so I figured that I would do it the postgrad route instead of straight out of high school. But yes, when I went to StFX, I kind of figured that I would be going to journalism school after StFX. That is why I got involved with The Xaverian Weekly for a couple years. I did  two years as a sports editor there, then did some freelance stuff in the Maritimes, and did the StFX student union stuff with The U for two years as well. VP communications one year, then I was president my last year.

BA: What kind of freelance did you do?

GC: One of the big ones I got was kind of really random. When I was a sports editor, I think I was in my second year, the World Junior Hockey Championships were actually in Halifax (2003). Randomly enough, Team Canada did part of its training camp at StFX.

BA: Wow!

GC: Ya, it was kind of crazy, the World Juniors were really big, but it was before they were only going to the NHL cities, so some of the smaller cities got it at that time, and Halifax got it that year, so the juniors did some of their training camp at StFX but it was during Christmas break, and all of the students were gone, I was gone too. But, randomly, I figured there was a chance, because they did their training camp there, that I randomly applied for a media credential through The Xaverian Weekly, I put all my The Xaverian Weekly contact down for it and they approved my media pass, so I was able to get a media pass for the entire tournament. I went to Halifax on boxing day and I knew some people who lived there so I stayed with them, for ten days, or however long the tournament was. But through the tournament was where I was able to do some freelance stuff. I’m from New Brunswick, so I was able to sell some stores to the Telegraph Journal in New Brunswick. The stories were random, as they had a linesman who was in the tournament who was from just outside of St. John so I did a story on him. There was a coach from UNB  who was involved in the tournament so I did a story on him and then I did a couple for local publications in Nova Scotia. So that’s how I started and through those contacts I occasionally, like when UNB came to play StFX, I would write a story for the Telegraph Journal, just like when the playoffs were going on for hockey and basketball, they would want stuff, so I did The Xaverian Weekly stuff, along with freelance stuff on the side.

BA: Would you say that was your ‘foot in the door’ moment?

GC: I think so, like with the World Juniors, I was more of a basketball and baseball guy then a hockey guy, but I was still a pretty big hockey fan too, but I guess that was kind of when I thought for sure, with what I decided what I wanted to do as I always kind of knew, but this was reassuring when I went to that (World Juniors) and just saw how everything worked. It was cool because you were in the same media room as all the big guys from TSN, like Bob Mckenzie, and everyone was beside you so it was cool to see that. I mostly observed because I didn’t have a ton of work to do, unlike some people who had daily assignments, I just had the freelance stuff so, a lot of it I used as an opportunity to see behind the scenes of how it all works. That freelance stuff might have played a bit of role in me getting into Ryerson in the first place, but The Xaverian Weekly stuff helped, The Students Union stuff helped, it was kind of all a part of the journey.

BA: Cool. It must have been awesome to see Bob McKenzie!

GC: Yes! It was! Actually, when I moved to Toronto and Ryerson, that was actually my first journalism job, at TSN. So it was cool, a few years after my first experience, I was working and  I had a low level job at the time and working in the ‘pit’ behind the bankers and SportsCentre, so it was cool to go from one extreme three years before it, to actually working for TSN.

BA: How important do you think it is to have alumni reaching levels, like you are, in the sports industry and how can it potentially impact future Xaverians?

GC: Yes, it is interesting. I think one of the cool things is that, well StFX is not known as a journalism school and there was not any journalism classes when I was there, so it was definitely a weird route to take for me to get to where I am, but it certainly goes to show that well, my time at StFX was four of the most fun years I have ever had as it was a lot of what I turned into and because of that school, my experiences with The Xaverian Weekly and the Students Union, and with StFX, you can do so many things hands-on, compared to a much bigger school or city, where you do not get the same opportunities. So, to get exposed to that early on and having so many responsibilities is a big reason. I have no regrets. It ended up costing me a bit more money to do the two-degree route, instead of going into it (journalism) right out of high school so I have no regrets at all. Even people who go to StFX for something that they aren’t exactly planning to do. Like I took Human Kinetics but I knew all along that I wasn’t going to do anything with that program, but the lifestyle and through experiencing so many different things at StFX, I learned more doing that kind of stuff and the journalism jobs after then I did at Ryerson. When anybody asks me where I went to school, I always say StFX. I never really mention Ryerson unless I am talking to a journalist who might know about their program. StFX is always the one that I refer back to.

BA: It is obviously tough, being in a small school, and not located near any professional sports teams, as you went to Ryerson to continue your education, but how tough was it for you to break into the industry?

GC: I did get some lucky breaks along the way. That is kind of how you have to do it to a certain extent. My resume from the StFX days really helped me get some of the opportunities because I did have a lot of experience at that point. Then, Ryerson played a role as initially I got in to TSN through an internship with the school, and then after my internship was over in three months that’s when they kept me on after that and I got hired by them. That was my first journalism job. This industry obviously, especially in the last number of years has taken a pretty big hit. It is even harder now than when I broke in. I broke in just before some of the walls started crashing down a little bit, in terms of job opportunities. For me, I always knew Toronto, for me I am a Maritimer and I always try to go back as much as I can but I always figured that Toronto would always be where I would end up. Because back home, obviously, unless you are covering the university sports or the Quebec Major Junior League (QMJHL) there is not many things to cover out there. Toronto were the teams I grew up watching and rooting for and I always figured that to do what I wanted to do would always have to be here (in Toronto). Especially because I was not much of a hockey guy as I wanted to do Raptors or Blue Jays. I didn’t really want to do Calgary Flames or something like that so that really narrowed it down kind of in terms of knowing where I would end up being. Toronto is where so many of those opportunities are, and it’s the mecca of Canada for all the sports.

BA: What was your most exciting moment during your years as a Blue Jays reporter?

GC: Well, you start looking at it a bit differently when you are a reporter for sure. I used to be a big Jays fan and I certainly would not describe myself as a fan anymore as you get to know things on a different level and see behind the curtain. You get to know all of the players and what they are really like as well as the front office and executives. You get to see that part of it and you view things differently, but even so I would still say the game in 2015 with Jose Bautista, the bat flip game (Game 5 ALDS) was still the most incredible thing that I have been around. I just finished my eighth season doing Jays full time and I did a couple seasons part time before that but that was by far the craziest event for sure. For one, to be there for the first playoff series since 1993 and the environment was pretty cool, but the events leading up to the home run was pretty incredible. Russell Martin threw a ball off of a player’s bat minutes before and there was chaos in the building and everyone was upset with the umpires, and for a while there I thought there was no way we were getting out of there without some sort of riot breaking out. Then five/ten minutes later it got even crazier when Bautista hit his home run. So, just this frantic style, game and atmosphere and just trying to come up with a game story and multiple articles after that was pretty crazy. There was even a moment in the press box where pretty much every reporter was trying to figure out what was going on. There was just so much confusion during that inning and people were throwing stuff on the field, it was crazy! So, just to be there for that was crazy, even though it does not really matter to me anymore whether or not the Jays win or lose, you like to see good baseball, but I don’t care certainly not as much as I did when I was a fan. So it wasn’t the winning part of it, it was the whole playoffs in general where you couldn’t beat that atmosphere.

BA: Do you have any other plans within the industry, or do you like where you are at right now?

GC: I don’t know! That is a big question to be honest with you. I got this opportunity a lot younger than most people do and I am pretty grateful for that it does make me think: What’s next? A lot of times when these guys get into these beat jobs where you are covering a team full time, and a lot of the ones I have worked beside have been doing it for 35 years. It can be that this is what they do for the rest of their life. On one hand I could see myself doing that as I still really enjoy it, but on the other hand, I don’t know if 15 years from now, or even 10, if I would want to do as much travelling as I do now. There might be something that comes after this but I don’t really know what it is, as to be honest with you my entire life leading up to Toronto has been trying to get a job like this, and I was twenty seven when I got hired by MLB, and I have been with them ever since so we will see how it plays out!

 
 

Unconquered

 

Fourth Invictus Games graces Sydney, Australia with inspiring performances by all

Most people today will be able to go through their entire life without facing the horrors and struggles of combat. They will not face the physical and mental challenges that proceed after serving their country. For so long, veterans, servicemen and women have suffered from life-altering injuries and mental illnesses without anywhere to turn. Oftentimes, they find it difficult to find the motivation to move forward and beyond their disabilities acquired during or after battle. 

Is there a way to break the perception that life stops after disability? Is there a way to promote rehabilitation for the wounded, injured, and ill service members that fought for our countries? Is there a means to celebrate the importance of sport and physical activity for everyone, including those who are suffering from war related injuries?

The Invictus Games, held from October 20-27, in Sydney, Australia managed to do all these things. The fourth Invictus games to take place, the event in Sydney garnered over 500 competitors from 18 countries to compete in 11 diverse sports. These sports include archery, track and field, indoor rowing, powerlifting, road cycling, sailing, sitting volleyball, swimming, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, and a driving challenge. 

The name Invictus is Latin for the word “unconquered.” It was decided by Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex to launch this event in the United Kingdom after noticing the importance and strong impact athletics can have on recovery and rehabilitation, especially for servicemen and women. Since he established the Invictus games foundation and held the first games in 2014, there have been three more held in countries around the world. This includes Orlando, USA in 2016, Toronto, CAN in 2017, and Sydney, AUS in 2018. 

Among the athlete competing included 40 Canadians, representing our country with pride and courage. The team comprises of 18 members of the armed forces and 22 veterans, all who have experienced a physical or mental health injury during their time serving Canada. Their participation is made possible thanks to many contributors, including Veterans Affairs Canada, the Province of Ontario and the Invictus Games Toronto 2017 organizing committee as part of the Canadian Armed Forces’ Soldier On program. Since beginning 11 years ago, Soldier On has been committed to supporting Canadian Veterans and has contributed $6 million directly to ill and injured service members in support of their recoveries. 

invictusgames2018.org

invictusgames2018.org

A full list of Team Canada’s athletes was released in late July of 2018. Most of the team were notified in January that they were chosen. They all attended two training camps in Halifax, NS during the year. With regards to the training being put in, Halifax Member of Parliament, Andy Fillmore was full of pride. 

“It is great to see the camaraderie of the Team Canada athletes here in Halifax as they prepare for the Sydney Invictus Games. Each person’s transition from Canadian Armed Forces member to Veteran is a unique experience and the Invictus Games have been an incredibly positive force for many Veterans and their families during this journey.” Fillmore explained, “Our Government is proud to be part of the Invictus Spirit and I congratulate all Team Canada athletes, they deserve this and will have an entire country cheering them on as they head down under!”

Andy could not have been any more correct. Team Canada had loads of support coming from their country and other countries as well. For example, Team Canada and Team Poland worked together as one to become “Team Unconquered,” a joint wheelchair rugby team competing at the Sydney Invictus games. 

Competitors didn’t mind combining athletes from different countries because that isn’t what the games are about. Canadian competitor Casey Wall said it best when talking about his wheelchair rugby team, “The name says it itself – ‘unconquered’ – and that is what Invictus is all about. It’s getting together, it doesn’t matter what your nationality is, or where you’re from. Whatever it is, it’s getting us all back onto the same playing field.”

The importance of the Invictus games undermines all the importance of the country you’re from or the team you’re on. Everyone participating is each fighting their own unique personal battles, but at the same time they are fighting together to show a positive message about the recovery, resiliency, and tenacity they all possess. 

 
 

Three Rings in Five Years for Rugby Team

 

Tournament all-star Joanna Alphonso comments on ‘killing the bird’

Yanik Gallie interviewed Joanna Alphonso on November 6, 2018 in The Xaverian Weekly office. Alphonso is a tight-head prop for X-Women Rugby.

***

YG: Congrats on the big win. Talk to me about the game and how you prepared for the final?

JA: Going into the game, we weren’t favoured to win. That was a big cloud over our head. We knew that no team could stop us if we played 100%. Going into the game, coach Mike told us to starve their back line of the ball. That’s exactly what we did. Their #10 was really shifty and we were able to shut her down. That was our whole game plan. 

We kept possession for most of the game. Our big forwards did the job to get those tries. Our backs did a good job tackling. It was an all-around team effort.

YG: You mention coach Mike in your answer. How has the coaching team been supportive of the rugby team this year?

JA: We have amazing coaches. Mike, our head coach, Tara, our forwards’ coach, John, our scrum-half coach, and Allison our backs’ coach, they have worked with us day in and day out. They are there from 5pm to 6:30pm with us teaching us the little skills that we need to win a national championship. Definitely, Mike is a rugby genius. There’s nothing Mike doesn’t know about rugby and that helps when he’s teaching us things that help us win. Tara is amazing. She is our forwards’ coach so I work personally with her. Since I’ve been in first year, Tara has been there for me. She always had my back and she always will. John and Allison both hold special positions on our team as well. They help these individuals excel to their best ability. 

YG: Tara has been around for the three rings in the last five years. What does the third and final ring mean to you?

Sports Photos NS

Sports Photos NS

JA: This ring is bittersweet as I don’t have any more years of eligibility. It’s also bittersweet because I think that I was part of something really special. Our rugby team is like no other. It’s a family. Those girls are there on your worst days and on your best. They pick you up whenever you need it and they have your back always. There’s always someone there when you need to talk. Also, the fact that we weren’t favoured to win the tournament. We’ve had a lot of confrontation with other teams saying that we shouldn’t have won our games. We’ve proven time and time again that we deserve the win. Our hard work definitely paid off in the end. It’s awesome to know that respect has been put on our names now because we pulled off the title. 

YG: You’ve shared this expression on social media that some of our readers might not be familiar with and it’s ‘killing the bird.’ What’s the story behind this expression? 

JA: Before we go to nationals every year we have a breakfast with Kent MacDonald and Leo MacPherson, the president of the university and our Athletic Director respectively. They give us all their well wishes. We have some loyal fans like Father Stan and Sister Jovita who come to the breakfast as well with our coaching staff and players. Every year, Mike says a speech but this year the speech was special. He stood up and he said, “We’re like cats. We get birds and we beat them up a bit and we let them go. We beat them up some more and let them go. We do that to teams all the time. We give them hell and then we let them off the hook and back off. Stop playing around, just go out there and kill the bird.”

We took that motto into the tournament. It was so fitting because every game when we took the field, that’s what kept us going. “We got to kill the bird because we can. We know that we have it, so let’s kill it.” Our last game was against the Guelph Gryphons, which is a bird, so we put it to rest.

 
 

Maryland Football Scandal

 

An all too familiar conversation continues after the death of Jordan McNair

baltimoresun.com

baltimoresun.com

Jordan McNair was a nineteen-year-old football player for the University Of Maryland.

On May 29, 2018, McNair was in the midst of a gruelling set of ten 110-yard sprints, a tall task for the 290 lb offensive lineman.

It was then, during his eighth run that he collapsed due to cramps. He was able to get back up and complete all ten of the sprints, albeit was struggling with them. Only after the sprints was when he began to receive treatment from one of the trainers. While he was showing textbook signs of heatstroke, the trainers instead misdiagnosed him with cramps, and wrapped cold towels around them.

As he became increasingly irritable on the sidelines, a 911 call was made. He then began to foam at the mouth, the early signs of a seizure. Two ambulances arrived, and at this time, more than an hour after the completion of sprints, cold water immersion is done. Cold water immersion is 100% effective in preventing fatalities from heatstroke, when done within 10 minutes.

McNair was kept in the hospital for two weeks, until, on June 13, he died from complications of heatstroke.

McNair’s tragic death began the cascade of deplorable behaviour that was exhibited by the university.

The unpreparedness of the trainers was initially brought into question, and then it was an ESPN investigation where they discovered a “football culture based on fear and intimidation”, spearheaded by head coach DJ Durkin, and Strength Coach Rick Court.

Here are just a few examples of Court’s behaviour, and the culture that contributed to it:

- A former player said that Court told another athlete he was a “waste of life” and that “you should just fucking kill yourself.”

- “Throwing food, weights, and on one occasion a trash can full of vomit.”

- A player whom coaches wanted to lose weight was forced to eat candy bars as his teammates worked out.

- A former staff member was quoted as saying: “I would never, ever, ever allow my child to be coached there.”

- A former defensive lineman, who ended up transferring summed up his experience at Maryland, “They did go by the philosophy of balls to the wall. Push to the extreme? That was an everyday thing. I’ve seen him get physical with guys sometimes, throw objects at guys sometimes.”

- A current player added: “They usually target and pick a couple people they think are soft and go after them…. Durkin and Court feed off each other. I would say Court is as much responsible for the culture as Durkin.”

Durkin was put on paid administrative leave following this report, on August 11.

Court ended up resigning on August 14, yet was paid out 2/3rds of his remaining contract (approximately $315 000).

Then, after an extensive investigation by the university, the Board of Regents ruled on October 30 that Durkin was found not liable, and as a result, would be allowed to coach the team again, despite claims from an external investigation showing that the President Wallace Loh failed to control both the athletic department and the abuse allegations. 

The investigation also claims that former Athletic Director (AD), Kevin Anderson, helped foster a dysfunctional environment rooted by infighting from the utter disregard for accountability, and that current AD Damon Evans had a rift that led to utter chaos within the administrative structure of the university athletic department. Claims continue that Court was not held accountable for his persistent terrorizing of players.

The next day after a searing crucifixion by the media on their decision, the board reversed it, and decided to fire Durkin.

According to Maryland University’s website, The Board of Regents consists of 17 members, including one full time student; their role is to “oversee the system’s academic, administrative and financial operations: formulate policy; and appoint the USM chancellor and presidents of the systems 12 institutions”. They are akin to StFX’s Board of Governors.

Similarly, StFX’s administration admittedly mishandled the sexual assault case brought forth last month, which has made the administrative deficiencies between the two universities quite notable.

From the public perspective, along with students, athletes and other teachers, Durkin should have been fired instantly.

StFX should have issued an apology and warning to the victim that her assailant was returning to campus.

Marty McNair, Jordan’s father, upon hearing that Durkin was initially returning to coach, issued this haunting quote.

“I felt like I’ve been punched in the stomach and somebody spit in my face.”

I can only assume this is what the victim from STFX felt, having horrifically seen her assaulter back on campus, and was unbeknownst of his re-entry into university.

Of course, I am by no means intending to directly or unilaterally compare Maryland and StFX’s recent issues, as they were different in their scope and complexity.

Perhaps a comparison to Baylor University’s football scandal in 2016 is better suited, where they were reported to have consistently covered up claims of sexual assault by the football players. These cover ups stretched as early as 2012.

Or maybe another comparison is the 2011 Penn State child sex abuse cover up. Where Jerry Sandusky, former assistant for the football team, methodically groomed and abused children from 1994 to 2009. The president, vice president, AD and head coach were all indicted on charges of failure to report these heinous acts.

Consider last year’s USA Gymnastics scandal, involving Larry Nassar, where Michigan State University’s gymnastics coach was reported to have pressured former athletes to stay quiet about claims of Nassar.

What has been made clear is the routinized negligence by administrations that would rather protect the institution, instead of the individuals affected. It sets a dangerous rhetoric for future occurrences.

Contrary to titles and recognition, not all universities have a power structure that relies solely on the school president. Schools rely on donations from alumni and businesses to pay for salaries and other expenses. 

Therefore, it is not hard to understand, for many schools, why football teams have boosters. These boosters provide a lot of money to the athletic programs, and as a result, have the power to pressure administrative staff to decisions that are not morally right.

In Maryland, President Loh was not immune to the impact of the boosters. He reportedly had an ultimatum given to him by the board: reinstate Durkin, or be fired.

Even though Durkin was fired, it was without ‘cause’, and as a result, he will be paid out his remaining salary on his contract ($5.5 million). 

Dangerous rhetoric indeed.

 
 

Athletes Unaffected by October Legalization

No change in U Sports substance policy after cannabis legalization

October 17 marks a huge change in Canadian legislation regarding the acquisition and use of cannabis. Legalization of cannabis has been the talk of the country for many years, and in recent weeks has become reality for all Canadians. 

Other conversations that have taken place were those regarding how the legalization will affect Canada’s athletes, particularly members of the USports community. It is important to comment that members of this national brand and those competing in university sport are not off the hook in recreational use of cannabis. 

Despite being legalized by the Government of Canada, cannabis remains one of many substances that appear on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Prohibited List. Cannabis is not the first legal substance to be on this list, as the list includes both illegal and legal substances. 

The Canadian Anti-Doping Program’s (CADP) prohibited list follows that of the WADA, as it is held to international standards.  Because cannabis remains illegal in other countries around the world, WADA and subsequently CADP’s policy remains unaffected by its legalization in Canada. Just like before legalization, a positive test for cannabis can still result in a sanction. 

Cannabis is listed on the prohibited list as a threshold substance. This means that in the event of a test, if it is detected under a certain concentration then it will not be reported. This threshold does not permit regular use and despite the threshold, positive tests are frequent. 

usports2.png

Currently, cannabis is only prohibited in competition. That being said, there is no verified way of knowing how long cannabis takes to clear out of one’s system. 

Cannabinoids like THC are fat soluble and can be stored for long periods of time depending on metabolism. Frequency of use is a huge factor in determining how long the clearance time would be. 

One question worth posing is whether the use of medical marijuana would also be banned? The answer is yes. The use of cannabis for medical purposes is no different than use of other prohibited medication. If an athlete subject to the CADP has a prescribed need for medical marijuana, he/she should must apply for a medical exemption. This process entails an submission of an application in addition to supporting medical information.

Sports’ departments across the country are well aware of USports’ stance on cannabis use. Nonetheless, they remain wary that their athletes could assume the league’s policy will correspond with the country’s change in legislation. It will be up to the student athletes, coaches, and athletic departments to clarify the rules amidst these changes. 

Here at StFX, an annual student orientation takes place near the beginning of the academic year. All 12 varsity teams are present, including their coaches and the rest of StFX athletics staff. At this year’s student orientation, presentations by Director of Athletics Leo MacPherson and his staff including Head Athletic Therapist Tara Sutherland, made it very clear that cannabis will remain banned for all athletes participating under the StFX and USports Banners. 

Another reminder of the status of cannabis regulation in sport is included in a mandatory e-Learning program provided by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES). All    USports athletes must complete this program before any competition, and should therefore be aware of the continuing prohibition of cannabis in their sports. 

CCES also has a Cannabis in Sport resource which includes a page for Frequently Asked Questions, Quizzes, an Education Kit, and more resources regarding medical marijuana. Student athletes are encouraged to use this resource to sort out any possible confusion.

Calgary 2026 Winter Olympics?

City hopes to bring back the Olympics almost 40 years later

calgary3.png

Who can forget the illustrious 1988 Olympic Winter Games. Hosted in Calgary, Alberta, Team Canada achieved a whopping zero gold medals, two silvers and three golds. Despite Canada’s shortcomings, the game was a turning point in to injecting viability and legitimacy in the winter games.  

Now, 30 years later, Calgary is one of the three remaining bids (along with Stockholm, Sweden and the combined Italian bid of Milan/Cortina d’Ampezzo) for the 2026 event. 

A part of their bid centered around the ability to have transferrable facilities that can transform into affordable housing, or other attainable market housing. They also wanted to utilize the remaining  buildings and structures from the 1988 games.  

However, Even if the Olympic facilities are transformed to a usable state at the end of the games, that will cost more money then what the budget anticipated. 

In Canada’s first foray in hosting; Montreal 1976, the burden on the city led to a thirty-year battle to repay the 1.2 billion in debts.  Since 1960, no Olympics has ever been under budget. The preliminary numbers are always lower than the final cost. 

Some may perceive that an Olympics is a boon for the tourism sector. In fact, Olympic tourists take over for the regular tourists who want to stay away from the excessive congestion. The city’s itself that host are already well known, so a large surplus in tourism revenue is hardly reached. 

Calgary’s initial budget is set at $5.2 billion. Sochi’s 2014 games cost $51 billion, the most ever in history. Perhaps a more accurate comparison for Calgary would be South Korea. The most recent winter games, held in Pyeongchang, had an overall cost of $13 billion. Curiously, the county has a population of over 40 000, so the extravagant infrastructure is rendered almost useless once the games ended. The Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium, which hosted the opening and closing ceremonies, has already been torn down. Its cost? A ho-hum $109 million. 

It is clear the immense burden that cities have during the games, and the amount of money they are in debt for. So, an idea that has been floated around is of having an island that hosts the more expensive summer games every Olympics. With an island, which can operate as an international city-state, each country competing would contribute to the construction of it. The result would lead to an Olympic village that can stand for years on end. Economies being destroyed, and poor individuals being displaced (Rio: 2014) would no longer happen. 

As well, these games could be more flexible with regards to ideas being tested and the ability to pursue environmentally sound options. 

However, for at least the next ten years, the Olympics will be held in cities. The allure of bidding for them have greatly subsided. The International Olympic Committee (IOC)  jointly announced the recipients of the 2024 and 2028 games last year as they were worried no one would be in the bidding process for 2028. 

What’s encouraging is the successful bid in 2026 that wins the right to host the games will be getting 1.2 billion CAD from the IOC. This will help mitigate costs, but is nowhere near enough.  

November 13 is the day all Calgarians vote in a plebiscite whether they want the city to host the Winter and Paralympic Games.

Premier Rachel Notley, along with Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi have been arduously supporting the bid, and their political influence may cause many to vote yes. It is important for all in Calgary to be educated with regards to the bid, as it will be their taxes that would inevitably be funding this event.

A World of Upsets: League of Legends 2018

Millions tune in to watch world championship

Let me ask you something, do you know what Esports are? Essentially, Esports is competitive gaming. Throughout an array of different games, both new and old, professional players around the world compete in leagues and competitions for enormous cash prizes. From CSGO and DOTA 2 to new titles like Rainbow 6 Siege and of course, Fortnite, the pantheon of Esports titles range many genres of games to suit any player’s skills. The most popular genres are Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas (MOBAs), first-person shooters, and sports games, with League of Legends leading the charge. Until the arrival of Fortnite, a third-person battle royale game, League of Legends consistently held the number one spot for viewers on Twitch, the primary streaming site for video games. These Esports almost always model themselves after traditional sports, especially when it comes to playoffs and major tournaments. Naturally, a game with as much popularity as League of Legends holds a landmark tournament each year to celebrate the talent of each region to determine which team is the best. Enter the League of Legends World Championship.

Taking place October 1st to November 3rd, 2018, the top three teams from the five major regions, North America, Europe, China, South Korea, and Taiwan, as well as ten teams from various “wildcard” regions compete to determine the best team in the world and win the Summoner’s Cup (and an incredible monetary award). The first Worlds tournament for League took place in 2011, culminating in a historic final between Fnatic and All authority in which Fnatic took the victory. Since then, when “only a few hundred fans watched live,” the popularity of the game has skyrocketed and millions tune in to watch the World Championship each year. The season 3 World Championship was held in the U.S. and resulted in a sold out Staples Center in LA, California. Increasing in popularity year upon year, last year’s tournament peaked at 80 million concurrent viewers during the semifinals of the tournament, where players competed for a total prize pool of $4,946,970. Now on its eight iteration, the viewership and prestige of the tournament is certainly set to impress in 2018. 

After that historic inaugural tournament, there have been certain trends that have been established in League of Legends history. Asian teams have won six of seven championships, Korean teams are the most dominant region, not missing a single worlds final match since 2012, and North American teams traditionally underperform, with the last NA team to reach the semifinals occurring in 2011 when the tournament was only between North America and Europe. 

Today, October 21, 2018, stands as a historic day in League of Legends history as all of these facts have been broken. The tournament to date has been a year of upsets, where kings fall and underdogs reign supreme. For the first time since their entrance into the tournament, the Korean representatives have all been knocked out of the tournament prior to the semifinals. Also a North American team has reached the semifinals for the first time in seven years, and only one Asian team remains in the tournament. After the series of upsets that occurred this past weekend (Oct 20-21) where tournament favourites RNG and KT Rolster have fallen, the semi-final matches feature two European teams, one North American team and one Chinese team. The matches will take place October 27th, with European representative G2 Esports taking on the Chinese team Invictus Gaming, and on October 28th with the original champions Fnatic taking on North America’s remaining hope, Cloud 9. 

But, aside from the immense feeling of community and entertainment that Esports offer (just like any other traditional sport), why does Esports matter in university? Universities around the world offer scholarships and incentives for varsity athletes to play traditional sports, but some universities are adopting Esports teams as well. 

Some prominent Canadian universities, including the University of Toronto and the University of British Colombia, along with an expansive list of American universities, offer scholarships for Esports. Interestingly, Riot Games, the creators of League of Legends, holds a collegiate league for university players to compete for prestige and substantial scholarship dollars where UBC stands at the top of the pack. In 2015, the team beat out Simon Fraser, Texas A&M, and Robert Morris University on their way to winning the $180,000 in scholarships. While this community is certainly niche compared to the massive audiences that traditional sports draw in, both in universities and throughout the rest of the world, it is becoming ever clearer to the general public that Esports are not only real, but are a medium of entertainment that should be remembered as it continues its growth for years to come.   

Cross Country: A Varsity Footrace for the Fearless

 
 

Athletes push the limit in hometown Invitational

If you meander around campus in the late afternoon or early evening, you’ve likely seen them. Split shorts, tight spandex, arm warmers, backward caps, brightly coloured running shoes, glistening faces and surprisingly, easy-going smiles. They’re all likely going for a 5-7km warm-up run before practice even begins.

On September 22, both the Men’s and Women’s cross country teams took to their home course for their second race of the year. Both teams came out on top with first place team finishes and strong individual performances on both sides. Running first comfortably that afternoon was Alex Neuffer, a second-year Education student from Stratford, PE. Clocking in at a breezy 26:41.47 over 8km (that’s 8 back-to-back 3:20 kilometres, if you were wondering), Neuffer led his teammates to their season’s second first place team finish. Just behind was Paul MacLellan in second with a time of 27:33 and Aidan Doherty, Luc Gallant, Addison Derhak, Graydon Staples and Edward MacDonald finishing sixth, 10th, 11th, 16th and 20th respectively.

Photo of Alex Neuffer: Phoebe Cseresnyes

Photo of Alex Neuffer: Phoebe Cseresnyes

On the women’s side, Zoe Johnston, a fourth-year HKin student from Pembroke, ON, had a strong second place finish with 23:06 6km. Her teammates, all in the top 20, fled in as follows: Hana Marmura (4th), Jane Hergett (5th), Rachel MacDougall (6th), Catherine Thompson (9th), Ashley Robson (12th), and Paige Chisolm (13th). The pack-racing mentality has proven effective for the both teams, especially the women.

Two senior runners, Neuffer and Patrick Marlow, provided The Xaverian Weekly with their personal insight. Neuffer and Marlow opened up about the team’s goals for their 2018 season. After a tough loss to Dalhousie last year at the AUS Championships, the men have their eyes on taking back the title in Halifax on October 27. By this time, the men hope to be in top shape, including teammate Angus Rawling (the 2018 3km USports Champion), and geared up to place in the top ten at the USports National Championships in Kingston, ON in November.

As for the women’s team, the squad of ten women look to have a strong showing at the AUS Championships and give the Dalhousie team a run for their money. Historically, the Tigers have had several fast individuals pull their team to success including Michelle Reddy, Savanna Jordan, and recent alumni Colleen Wilson. The X-Women will need to piece together a strong, collective effort to challenge them for the top podium finish. All the while, Zoe Johnston and her teammates aim to remain healthy as the season gains momentum. The women are gunning for an AUS title and are working together to stay healthy and strong during the grueling three month season.

With limited exposure to racing against teams outside of the AUS during the year, it is unclear as to where they size up in relation to teams across the country. However, under the guidance of their new head coach, Eric Gillis (an Antigonish native, St. FX alumni, CIS XC National Champion ’03 and three-time Olympian) and careful craft of retired Coach Bernie Chisholm (a recent inductee of the NS Sport Hall of Fame), both the X-men and Women have the mentorship and experience backing their training.

Photo of Zoe Johnston & Hana Marmura: Phoebe Cseresyes

Photo of Zoe Johnston & Hana Marmura: Phoebe Cseresyes

Both Neuffer and Marlow, along with their teammates, are featured in the recently published novel “Runners of the Nish” written by XC alumni Alex Cyr. If you’re looking to gain a better understanding of the sport, this autobiography dissects the innerworkings of what it means to run at X and compete within the ever-growing Canadian running scene. In his first ever novel, Cyr alludes to the ins and outs of the everyday lifestyles of the X long distance runners. He retells the hardships and strong points of the individuals of the team back in 2016. Today, the team continues to set the standards high for themselves. There are many misconceptions of varsity cross country running, especially at a school with a population just over 5000. I mean, how competitive could they be? If you want me to boil it down to an individual level, the times that a few of the men and women in competition pump out are high -calibre and of national rank. Presently, Rawling is training hard and setting his sights on a medal at USports and not far behind, Neuffer plans to lay everything out for a top 10 finish. With these particular individuals and their teammates setting big goals for the small running program here in Antigonish, the XC team continues to set the tone for X Varsity community.

Currently, all of the runners are in the midst of logging somewhere between 60-140km in a week. These men and women run on the daily – perhaps with a Sunday off here and there. Varsity runners log miles in a combination of ways: tempo runs (not race pace, but not-exactly-a-walk-in-thepark-talk-to-your-buddy-pace), hill workouts, interval sets and long runs – probably on Saturdays (because what else would a runner do in the morning anyway?). On top of this, they are weight-training, swimming, studying, squeezing in extra-curriculars, eating right, working jobs to pay their rent and somehow finding time to stay afloat in the social scene. It’s an outlandish but motivating dynamic. There is a common team goal, but all the while, individuals (on the same team and from different schools) are all fighting to cross the finish line regardless of the colour of singlet ahead of them. A common thread in the running world, highlighted by Johnston, is the tight-knit feel of the XC team despite the vigorous competition between teammates – this is in fact what makes the team better and persuades individual competitors to take it to the next level.

With 2 more invitationals on the road, keeping injury-free and mentally on track is no easy feat as the ebbs and flows of cross country running are unpredictable. You throw your best seven runners in the race and the top five score. Add up their places and hope that no one gets passed in the last 400m, because every place counts. The women race 8km and the men run 10km (and equalizing the distances is in the works, you need not worry). The key word here is race. The quality and quantity of mileage these student-athletes put in is not for nothing.

Come the competition days, these miles speak for themselves. Runners have raced as hard as they could – in the rain, in the cold, in the mud, in monotonous loops, and in a constant up-hill battle against the clock, other schools and even their own teammates. It is the ultimate race, where you’re wreathing in pain at the finish line, shaking but also holding hands with your competitors, supporting the weight of your teammate while gasping for air.

Injuries are prevalent, tweaks can alter training regimens, pace in workouts can falter, and an individual’s season can suddenly come to a halt. On the other hand, you could feel great. Your iron levels are on point, your legs feel fresh, you’ve been staying on top of your rehab and what do you know, you’re not in sight of over-training and you find yourself with some kick left with one and a half kilometres to go at Fort Henry in K-town. You just never know who will show up on raceday.

 

A Silver Star in the Cote First Nation

 
 

Brigette Lacquette is an inspiration for all First Nations’ athletes

As Team Canada collapsed to the ice, heartbroken after losing in a shootout to their vaunted rivals, the feeling of silver was a bitter one to swallow, at least temporarily.

The game was the gold medal match of the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. There was one specific individual on the ice who had plenty to be proud of, that being the Cote born Brigette Lacquette.

Asked if in time, the silver medal will be something she will be proud of Laquette responded “Maybe with time.” Lacquette was the first First Nations hockey player named to Canada’s National Women’s team, and she played key minutes in the final match.

She tallied one assist during the Olympic games as well. The accomplishment was a long time coming, as the 26-year-old had a successful three-year career at the University of Minnesota Duluth. There, the defenceman tallied 69 points in 106 games and racked up 166 penalty minutes as her physicality was on full display.

She was born in Mallard, Manitoba, a tiny community of 150 residents. However, her roots are embedded in the Cote First Nations community, located near the border of Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Speaking with CBC, Lacquette said “My mom’s from Cote and that’s where she grew up.”

Unfortunately, she suffered from a bad form of eczema when she was young, and hockey was her refuge.

Her dad, Terance Lacquette, of Métis heritage and the O-Chi-Chak-Ko-Sipi First Nations, saw firsthand how tough it was for her and said to CBC, “When she was sitting in class, it would get itchy and she’d sweat. When she got onto the ice, she was able to hide her arms and scars and everything with her hockey equipment and she felt like just another person out there.”

She was also subjected to racist taunts, at the young age of 12. Her Dad remembers it well.

“Girls that age, you know, sometimes they get nasty and say things that they don’t mean. And on this occasion the one girl - actually a couple of them - starts saying something about Briggie and calling her a ‘dirty Indian’, ‘Go back to the reserve,’ and comments like that.”

“I could see when she came to the bench that something was bothering her, and she would have tears in her eyes, and it wasn’t the same joy that she had”.

Photo: eaglefeathernews.ca

Photo: eaglefeathernews.ca

Her perseverance through these hardships is what made her so special. One of her idols, and the reason for her love of hockey, is because of the former NHL player Jordan Tootoo. He is of Inuk heritage and the first player to grow up in Nunavut to play in an NHL game. She spoke to CBC about his impact, “Honestly, when world juniors happened in ’03, and Jordin Tootoo came on the scene, that’s when everything started. I was super amazed. He’s from up north, and he actually played in Brandon at that time too… it was a junior A team in Northern Manitoba, and I loved them.”

She also had the honour of having her Olympic hockey stick included in the Hockey Hall of Fame diversity exhibit earlier this year.

She used to be in awe of the great Canadian Women’s players like Hayley Wickenhesier, but she never had a First Nations player to look up to. Now, she is that player. She is very active in her community and surrounding tribes, knowing that all it takes is an opportunity for the next Brigette Lacquette to be found.

“It’s just very special for me to be that role model for young First Nation girls across Canada, Indigenous kids across Canada. I’m just super excited to be that person for them.”

Her father adds that “She basically kicked that door over and knocked it down and it’s not a barrier anymore in her life, and that’s something that’s important for not only her but anybody who’s faced a barrier in their life.”

The odds of a young First Nations girl from a community of 150 growing up and making   the national hockey team were miniscule. Lacquette shattered those odds and earned a silver medal while inspiring indigenous women.

 

Hockey Players Called "savages" and Told "go home

 
 

Racism not a thing of the past for young First Nations’ athletes

In a time that can be seemingly progressive and unprejudiced, it wasn’t the reality for a group of young boys attending a hockey tournament in Québec City this past May 2018.

The First Nation Elites Bantam AAA team was made up of players 13 and 14 years old coming from different communities across Canada.

While most of this team is made up of boys from many Cree, Atikamekw and Algonquin communities in Québec, others came from surrounding provinces including Ontario and Nova Scotia.

At the Spring hockey tournament, players and parents claimed to have been victim to racist taunts and unfair treatment by the tournament organization, including the referees. This tournament, The Coupe Challenge Quebec AAA is an annual tournament that took place for three days in late May.

Players were called “savages” by other teams’ coaching staff. In addition to such, the team’s opponents would imitate and stereotype the team by doing “war cries” on the ice and making tomahawk motions behind their backs.

Elites manager Tommy H.J. Neeposh said that this taunting was the worst he’d ever seen. To make matters worse, he said that refs, coaches, and parents simply watched it happen, and allowed it.

Neeposh managed to film some of this unacceptable behaviour in the team’s semi final game. The video itself proves that the behaviour taking place was unacceptable and repugnant in the video. The video also shows bias of the referees against the Elites. At one point, the referees had four Elites players in the penalty box at the same time.

The end of the video clearly displays a spectator, assumedly a parent, scream out the offensive words, “gang de sauvages.”

One mother, Christina Gull, told CBC that what she witnessed was hurtful and angering. “I was thinking, ‘Does this still exist. Are we in the 80s or 90s?” said Gull to CBC. She went on to tell of how the DJ of the games was playing powwow music, and other parents continuously told them to go home.

This awful behaviour was brought to the attention of the Organizer of the Coupe Challenge Québec AAA, the Bulldogs de Québec. The vice president and organizer for the Bulldogs is Richard Sevigny, who explained that what happened in the rink was out of his control.

Photo: gofundme.com

Photo: gofundme.com

Sevigny did explain that the situation was highly unfortunate, but that he did do a lot for the First Nation Elites before the tournament even took place. This included registering the team when the tournament was already full. Sevigny said that with regards to the referees, he would simply not hire back those specific officials.

Sevigny’s short response and quickness to accept the behaviour of the players on a “boys will be boys” mentality is not enough to oblige to these families and hockey players that were subject to atrocious racism by opponents, parents, and referees.

Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated incident. This happens everyday in communities across Canada, and it is completely inacceptable.

Neeposh spoke to the boys following the tournament. As reported by CBC in May 2018, he told the boys “You are going to face this for the rest of your lives.” This shouldn’t be something so prevalent in the world we live in today.

This shouldn’t be the reality we are living in. These young boys will face this for the rest of their lives, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

 

Shinerama: Raising Money for Cystic Fibrosis

The fight against CF is not over

“In, out, in, out. Breathe. Most of us don’t think like that when we take a breath, but people with Cystic Fibrosis do with each and every breath.” Says fourth year Bailey DeEll in a Facebook post made with regards to Cystic Fibrosis and Shinerama. Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is the most common fatal genetic disease affecting Canadian children and young adults according to the Shinerama website. 

Shinerama, if one doesn’t already know, is Canada’s largest post-secondary fundraiser in support of Cystic Fibrosis Canada. 

There is currently no cure to CF. It has many effects on the body, but primarily on the digestive system and lungs. The degree to which someone with CF will suffer depends on the person. Ultimately, however, CF will progress over time. Eventually ongoing infection, destruction of the lungs and loss of lung function leads to death at an earlier age than someone without CF. 

CF includes a long list of complications with digestive problems being at the top. Someone suffering from CF will have less pancreatic enzymes and consequential vitamin deficiencies. This causes trouble digesting fats and proteins. Over 4 200 Canadians with Cystic Fibrosis attend specialized CF clinics, which are costly to uphold. 

Shinerama currently includes over 35 000 student volunteers from 45 Canadian Universities. StFX is proudly part of this statistic. The funding earned by these hard working students and volunteers is crucial in fighting against Cystic Fibrosis. If you weren’t sure why O-Crew so eagerly dragged you out of bed the morning after the big concert in your frosh week, this is why. 

Shinerama began in 1964, and since then has spread across the country and touched the lives of countless Canadians. Since then, Shinerama has raised about $27 million dollars, which has been used to fund the necessary research, supplies, resources and treatments for prolonging and improving the lives of those suffering from CF. 

It is important to note that, as stated on the Shinerama website, “A child diagnosed in the 1960s was not expected to live long enough to attend kindergarten. The median age of survival of Canadians is among the highest in the world, at 53.3 years of age in 2016.” This is not coincidental, but has a direct correlation with the efforts put forward by Canadians to ameliorate the lives of those suffering from CF. 

On Saturday, September 8, StFX students took to the streets of Antigonish and its surrounding areas to fundraise for none other than Shinerama. With a huge help from O-Crew, a group of primary first-year students have since raised over $11 000 this year. This doesn’t mean that the fundraising is over. 

“While Shinerama focuses its attention on one part of the year, people with CF have a tough time breathing no matter what month it is.” Lucas Middleton, fourth year O-Crew member and Shinerama Volunteer explains. He urges everyone to continue to support the cause no matter what the amount, as it will go a long way for those with CF. “Whatever you can afford to give, even skipping that morning coffee and donating $5, helps more than you know.”

To donate to Shinerama, one can do so by visiting StFX’s online Shinerama page and making whatever contribution they wish. The fight is not over and progress can be made at any time. Every week in Canada, a child is diagnosed with CF. Of the Canadians who died in 2016 of CF, half were under the age of 39 years. As Shinerama itself puts it, any help will help “breathe life into the future of Canadians who are struggling to breathe everyday.”