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.”

Hall of Famer at StFX- Tara Sutherland

Long-tenured Athletic Therapist has the Hall of Fame calling after an illustrious career

Tara Sutherland was the head of a private clinic in Edmonton for a brief spell in early 1996. She saw a temporary position at StFX looking for athletic therapists. 23 years later? She is still here. Her reasoning?

“I love the community, and to work with students every day”

With her love of university life, it is no wonder she was a student at three of them. She attended Queen’s University, graduating with a BA in physical education. She then earned her diploma in sports injury management at Sheridan College, a quaint school in the Toronto area. After she obtained her certification in athletic therapy, a spell at the University of Calgary for a masters in kinesiology occurred in 1995. For Sutherland, her imbued enthusiasm for the job galvanizes students and athletes.

Speaking on the differences in technology and the job as a whole from her days in the 90’s till now, she commented:

“There is not too much of a difference, as we only assess the injuries and give recommendations, no diagnoses are involved. However, the technology now is a lot more advanced than before”

Of course, with the recent discovery of CTE and it’s gargantuan impact in the football community, the differences in how the athletes are treated are very striking.

“Back in 1996, the football team would practice sometimes two to three times a day. And they were doing so in worse equipment. There was less education into proper hitting techniques as well. Now, the practice times are much less, and the coaches do a great job of teaching safe hitting practices.”

Sutherland, along with her longtime colleague and friend, Dr. David Cudmore opened the Antigonish Concussion Clinic approximately ten years ago. (She and Cudmore could never pinpoint the exact time it was opened). The Clinic’s main goal is to give help to more than just athletes.

“My job at StFX is to assess athletes and so the Concussion Clinic is a way of giving back to the community, by affording them the opportunity to be treated and properly rehabilitated, whether it be a slip and fall, a car crash or anything in between.”

Sutherland keeps herself busy by being the lead athletic therapist at hockey, football, basketball games, while also teaching three human kinetic classes. To add on, because she does not do enough already, she has been the assistant coach of X-Women Rugby since 1998.

“It gives me a chance to be a coach, a different experience than always being the therapist during games. plus, I love the sport and I played it when I was younger.”

cata.png

The holy grail of athletic therapy accomplishments was recently reached when she was inducted into the CATA (Canadian Athletic Therapists Hall of Fame). Her response to the news?

“Shock, humbled, loss for words. I was thinking it was maybe a wrong number! I have seen so many of my friends and colleagues, people I have looked up to, get into CATA, and for me to become a part of it was an unbelievable honour”.

Her plaque from the hall is still on her desk, as she has been contemplating putting it up in her office. She can be forgiven for not instantly adorning it on her walls, as they are riddled with jerseys, certifications and more plaques pertaining to her excellence of athletic therapy. 

Who knows, maybe in 23 more years, her walls won’t be visible. And at this rate, working 23 more years is not out of the realm of possibility, with her unrelenting work ethic.

Homecoming 2018

Noteworthy events for the StFX sports’ fanatics

This following weekend is the annual Homecoming for StFX University. It is the biggest weekend in the entire year when all members of the StFX community, past and present, can come together and celebrate the school we all hold so dearly in our hearts. 

The weekend is jam packed with things to do, including many sporting events that will leave spectators nothing short of entertained.

To kick off this exciting weekend is the StFX Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. This will take place on Thursday, September 27 at 7:30 pm in the Schwartz Auditorium. This is an incredibly significant event for StFX Athletics, because of the importance in honouring those who paved a path for our current athletes to succeed. 

Members of the Sports Hall of Fame are members of the school community that built StFX into the athletic dynamo that it is today. As explained by the StFX Sports Hall of Fame itself, “Those chosen inductees have exemplified the spirit and ideals of Xaverian athletics in their professional and community lives.”

This year, the inductees include Eugene Belliveau (Football, Class of 1980), Adele Belliveau (Basketball & Field Hockey, Class of 1984), Glenn MacDougall (Soccer, Class of 1987), Randy Nohr (Basketball, Class of 2001), Jane (Hanley) MacGillivray (Builder), and the entire 2006 X-Women Rugby Team. 

The 2006 X-Women Rugby Team was the first female team at StFX to win a national championship title. X-Women Rugby has since managed to bring home four more national titles.

The following evening (September 28), all sports enthusiasts should make sure to check out the undefeated X-Women Rugby team as they take on the UPEI Panthers in their final regular season game on home turf. The game begins at 6 pm at the Oland Stadium and is sure to be a thrilling display of skill, hard work and camaraderie.

The X-Women Rugby team has been a powerhouse in every season game thus far and this weekend’s game should be no exception. After having faced off with Acadia last weekend, the team secured a spot in first place of the AUS.

The Homecoming Ceremonial kick-off takes place at 1:45 pm on Saturday, September 29 at Oland Stadium, just moments before the annual homecoming football game begins. At 2 pm our X-Men will be facing the undefeated Saint Mary’s Huskies for the second time this season. 

The two teams played a close match in late August where the X-Men fell short by only seven points. This game is an event that no true StFX fan can miss.

Our X-Men football team is coming off a big win from last weekend. Travelling to Sackville to play against Mount Allison in their homecoming, the X-Men clinched a win by

scoring 25 points in the fourth quarter, earning a final score of 35-27. Subway’s player of the game was Jordan Socholotiuk, who managed to run for 177 yards on 33 carries.

The fun doesn’t quite end after Saturday. Come to Oland Stadium on Sunday September 30 to catch the X-Women Soccer at 1 pm and X-Men Soccer at 2 pm. 

Both teams will be playing against Acadia. Acadia is currently in first place in Men’s and Women’s AUS standings, and two wins for our soccer teams would be a pivotal moment for the league’s standings.

The X-Women soccer team won two games last weekend against both Mount Allison and UPEI. The X-Men soccer team also managed to win both their games last weekend, with a noteworthy 11-0 win at Mount Allison’s homecoming.

X-Men Football Athletes of the Week

 
 

Burnham gets second recognition in a row following a stellar overtime victory

X-Men Football Offensive Player of the Week

X-Men receiver Kaion Julien-Grant was named the StFX Football Offensive Player of the Week for the week of Aug. 31, 2018. Kaion, a 4th year Human Kinetics student from Toronto, scored two touchdowns in the X-Men’s 30-24 overtime win over Acadia Friday night. He caught an 18 yard pass late in the second quarter and a 25 yard pass in double coverage at the start of the 4th quarter. Kaion had 10 receptions for 109 yards in the game and 230 all-purpose yards with his 77 yards on 4 kick-off returns and 44 yards on 8 punt returns. 

X-Men Football Offensive Player of the Week

X-Men defensive back Dylan Bell was named the StFX Football Defensive Player of the Week for the week of Aug. 31, 2018. Dylan, a 1st year Education student (5th year eligibility) from Brockville, Ont. came up huge on the X-Men defense in their overtime win over Acadia on Friday night. Dylan led all tacklers in the game with 12, including 10 solo tackles. He also had a break-up and one tackle for a loss of 2 yards. 

X-Men Football Special Teams Player of the Week

X-Men kicker/punter Kieran Burnham was named the StFX Football Special Teams Player of the Week for the week of Aug. 31, 2018. Kieran, a 4th year Arts student (3rd year eligibility) from Cambridge, Ont. played a big impact in the X-Men’s overtime win over Acadia, racking up 393 yards on 9 punts and 228 yards on 4 kick-offs for a punting average of 43.7 and a kick-off average of 57.0. Five of his punts were inside the 20 and Kieran also kicked three extra TD points in the win.

 Photo: goxgo.ca

Photo: goxgo.ca

 

Not Your Grandma's BINGO...

 
 

Leave your grandma at home and bring an open mind

StFX’s orientation week is always a tremendous success and this year was no exception. With several new events geared towards a more inclusive, aware, and safe environment on campus, 2018’s orientation week, X-Fest, went above and beyond in helping first year students transition into post-secondary student life. 

Among the many new and exciting events was a BINGO night, but with a twist that most first year students wouldn’t be familiar with. Instead of winning money, the prizes were a little bit quirkier than the attendees might be used to. Anyone lucky enough to achieve a straight line, four corners, or diagonal would be rewarded with sex toys. 

After the first day of classes, September 4, at 9:30pm the Keating Centre flooded with first year students and dedicated O-Crew in attendance of the first orientation week edition of Sex Toy Bingo. Hosts Robert Chatterton and Nurse Rose were fully prepared to hold what would be one of the best events of the entire week. 

“Not Your Grandma’s Bingo exceeded my expectations in attendance and engagement.” Says co-host Robert Chatterton. “Nurse Rose and I had some educational moments and I feel like the first year students learned a lot while having a lot of fun. Not to mention having the chance to win some sex toys.”

Sex Toy Bingo itself is not a new phenomenon on the StFX campus. The event has been run for years, for the most part being hosted by Get Real or the X Pride Society at the Golden X Inn. The difference this time was that the event was held solely for first year students, with the ultimate goal being to further educate on practising safe, healthy, consensual sex to all in attendance. 

The importance of sexual health and safety cannot be stressed enough, and this event was a tremendous step forward in promoting it. For many, StFX will be the first place to welcome students as their first home away from home, and for those same people, they may have never had a source to inform them on these sometimes difficult topics. Nurse Rose and Robert successfully created an environment for all to learn the facts, the fiction, and the important aspects of what sex entails. 

How do you properly put on a condom? What is a dental dam? How can you make your own dental dam using a condom? Which brands are best to use for protection? What ways can you increase pleasure for your partner? At what point should lube be used? How effective are different types of birth control? These are all questions which at some point in our early adult lives, if not now, we didn’t know the answer to, and that is why events like Sex Toy BINGO, and in this case Not your Grandma’s BINGO… are so important for sexual health, safety and awareness. 

 

X-Women Rugby Anticipate Triumphant Season

 
 

House players return to StFX while National Championships return to East Coast

Members of the StFX Women’s rugby team have made their return to Antigonish after a long summer and off-season of hard work and preparation for the season to come. Training camp welcomed rookies and veterans alike from all areas of Canada, all with diverse experiences and skills to offer the team. 

For the 2018 season, the X-Women welcomed many first-years and new faces from near and far that have competed at numerous levels of representative rugby. Other noteworthy additions to the team are the welcomed back fifth year players, Joanna Alphonso, Alison Blanchard, Danielle Cormier, and Olivia DeMerchant. DeMerchant represented Canada at the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2014. 

A small exhibition tournament held in Truro marked the end of training camp, where players could showcase their rugby ability in shortened games against teams that are also part of Atlantic University Sport (AUS). These pre-season games were nothing short of successful for our X-Women. The women, separated into two teams, won their games with scores of 95-0 versus Saint Mary’s and 52-15 versus Acadia respectively.

Less than one week later, the X-Women rugby team hosted the Saint Mary’s squad for their home opener at Oland Stadium on September 7. Despite the team’s starting lineup having a large mix of new and returning players, there was no question that the ladies were working cohesively and intelligently on the pitch. Early tries were scored in the first half by Keeley MacCuish (3), Jacqui Salvatore (2), Sarah Hoerig (2), Meghan Buchanan (1), Olivia DeMerchant (1), Sam Lake (1), Lucy Killacky (1), Maddie Harroun (2), and Claudia Fulton (1). Fourth year, Jacqui Salvatore scored 3 conversions to add to the scoreboard before halftime.

 Photo: Rachel Drummond

Photo: Rachel Drummond

The second half looked like a much different game, where the team slowed down its try scoring and geared its focus on more tactical work and defence; two aspects that will prove to be crucial farther into the season. First year, Maddie Harroun’s, second try was the only try scored by the X-Women in the second half, with two scored by Saint Mary’s. The game ended with a final score of 76-12. 

“I think the team has a lot of depth this year and having three of our graduated players returning for a fifth year is really going to help us out.” Explained fourth year player Keeley MacCuish. 

As Friday’s player of the game, she was happy to comment on the team’s hard work and performance. “As it was evident in our game last Friday, we have many first years who are able to step up and fill the shoes of some of our veteran players, and I think that will be key in the upcoming months. We really wanted to work on our defense in the second half of the game and I think it went pretty well considering it was our first time playing as a new team.”

The next game for the X-Women Rugby team will be at UPEI on Saturday, September 15 at 2pm. The team intends to continue to impress and improve throughout the season to stay on track to another AUS title and to ultimately compete for a 2018 national title. Nationals this year are especially significant as they will be held at Acadia University November 1 to November 5. This will be the first time that Nationals are held in the Atlantic region since 2012, when they were held and won by StFX on home soil. 

 

Your Fall Guide to Sports at StFX

Athletic events occurring in September for students to attend

As the new school year comes into focus, so too does university sport, and StFX is not short on great athletic teams. 

Men’s soccer gets their regular season started with a three-game homestead starting September 8. Moncton, UNB and Cape Breton come to town for these matches. StFX looks to avenge their semi-final loss to Cape Breton from a year ago. That Caper team ended up winning the national championship, besting the Montreal Carabins. Expect a tight battle, as both vie for first place in the conference.

xrugby.png

On the women’s side, the squad looks to better their fifth place showing in the AUS a year ago. Their games are played preceding the men’s. One interesting note is that the coach of the soccer program: Graham Kennedy, coaches both the men and women.  

The inevitable beast that is X-Women rugby, begins their assault on the AUS competition at home against Saint Mary’s on September 7. Last year the team finished with a perfect 6-0 record, however they were bested in the semi-finals of the national event by Laval. The Rugby program is the most storied in StFX athletics, having claimed a mesmerizing 19 of the last 20 AUS titles, and four national championships since 2010.

StFX football has already begun, and it began with an unfortunate loss against St Mary’s. Luckily, our home opener is August 31 in a game against our vaunted rival, the Acadia Axemen. The team looks to improve upon it’s .500 record last year, and the hope is that they can get some key contributions from their rookies, as well as improvement from all returnees. The biggest game of the season is Homecoming, on September 29 vs. Saint Mary’s. This is the day all students, past and present cram into the bleachers to see the fired-up X-Men compete. 

StFX cross country had a surprisingly efficient 2017 campaign, buoyed by Angus Rawlings, who won the 10km event last season. The teams will be under new leadership, with Olympian Eric Gillis taking over the head coaching duties. The season begins September 15 in UPEI, followed by StFX’s own invitational on the 22 of September. 

On the ice, both teams get their regular season going in the beginning of October. However, there will be some preseason events taking place. September 18, the men’s team play Moncton in the Auxiliary Arena, followed by a matchup against Saint Mary’s on the 29, taking place in the local Antigonish Arena. On the women’s side, expect back to back nights of games on the 21 and 22 of September in the Auxiliary Arena, as they face off against Dalhousie and Saint Mary’s. 

track.png

On the hardwood, both basketball teams have their regular season begin the first week of November. StFX hosts their own invitational tournament in the preseason, on October 5 and 6, with the women’s event on October 12 and 13. 

Track and Field does not begin until late November, with a meet in Gagetown, NB on the 24. 

StFX has more than just varsity athletic events, as they have a slew of recreational athletic teams. Curling, baseball, cheerleading, dance, field hockey, lacrosse, men’s rugby, rowing, swimming, equestrian, badminton and ultimate frisbee. The mens rugby team has had a very successful run, and the curling team has also held it’s own against other AUS programs. Cheerleading is a staple at football matches, while the rowing club has consistently produced solid outings, that is if you are ok with waking up at 4am! Keep an eye out at society night for the sign ups for these sports, and if you are feeling extra ambitious, create your own sport society. 

For more information regarding StFX athletics, please visit goxgo.ca 

Alex Cyr Interview

 
 

Alumnus publishes debut novel documenting athletic experience at StFX

Alex was interviewed by Yanik Gallie on August 14, 2018. Runners of the Nish: A Season in the Sun, Rain, Hail and Hell is now available for purchase online through the FriesenPress or Amazon websites.

 Photo: Heckbert's Photography and Gallery

Photo: Heckbert's Photography and Gallery

Alumnus Alex Cyr published his debut novel Runners of the Nish: A Season in the Sun, Rain, Hail and Hell on July 25, 2018. Alex’s novel is an autobiographical reveal of life as a StFX athlete. 

Alex is a journalist who has written articles for U Sports and Canadian Running Magazine. Prior to publishing his novel, Alex published interviews with Olympic athletes Eric Gillis, Melissa Bishop, and Reid Coolsaet.  

***

YG: Can you share your experience of writing a first novel?

AC: There were a lot more steps to the experience than I thought. I started writing not thinking I was about to write a novel. The way it started is my coach Bernie Chisholm asked me if I wanted to chronicle a few things throughout the season like a race, workout, that kind of thing. As time went on, I filled in the gaps with things that happened. Not only races, workouts and hard outcomes, but also fun events that the team did and nights out. The process of writing my first novel really came in small, small, increments to the point where I didn’t know where I was going with it. It didn’t feel like a job until I got to the point when I looked at what I had and thought I can publish this. Because it was about something that I cared about and enjoyed, it was really a painless, and fun, process.

The publishing process took a lot more out of me than I thought. There is a lot that goes into taking a manuscript and making it into a book. Before that, I didn’t realize how many people would get to work with me. There is so much to be done. There’s editing, design, layout, copyright, getting your ISBN registered. All in all, I think it was a super cool experience and something that I might want to do again someday. It was eye-opening and rewarding.

YG: Knowing the book reflects your personal experience, is there content you were hesitant of including or redacted from the first edition?

AC: Yes. When I decided that I wanted to make a book out of this, I had to make a critical decision in that do I keep the events real and make it a non-fiction or do I embellish it and make a story out of this? Eventually my decision was to keep it real. I put the results as they were. I put the events as they were. Tell the stories as they were. When I made that decision, it made me have to draw a line somewhere else. How intrusive can I be in this endeavor? The people I write about are my teammates and also my best friends. When writing something about them, you want to portray them in a way that is very real, respectful and indicative of who they are. At the same time, you want to present them as characters and highlight little traits and funny characteristics that they have. Most of it, I tried to keep PG. There’s college life in there and stuff. For that part, I tried to gloss over some things that may not be appropriate for the book. I wanted to keep it friendly for the general population.

 Photo: books.friesenpress.com

Photo: books.friesenpress.com

YG: Coach Bernie Chisholm is a treasured mentor of yours. How are you keeping the teachings of Bernie with you in P.E.I. and Ontario? 

AC: Something I think you’ll hear from many people who have been coached or taught by Bernie, because he was also a teacher, is Bernie became a bit more than a running coach. He became a life coach. 

I think Bernie instills good values in his runners and students. He’s a person with very consistent beliefs that he vocalizes. He’s also a guy who will tell you when you’re stepping out of line. He’s someone who implements a strong team culture and holds everyone to the same high standard. 

Personally, a lesson I am taking back with me from StFX, and from Bernie especially, is the ability to be mentally tough. I apply this to my running mostly, but it’s also a lesson that I apply to life. It’s the ability to push through things when they are not going my way. When you are doing a discipline like running, chances are you are going to replicate that behavior in other aspects of your life. With Bernie, he taught me to persevere and to be patient while working hard. That’s probably the number one quality that I have that I can attribute to Bernie’s coaching.

YG: You beat your personal best this May, well done. What goals are you pursuing with the University of Windsor Athletics Club?

AC: I still have one more year in my master’s at Windsor. After that, I don’t know where school, life and running will take me. There are things that I like about the environment in Windsor and if the next chapter of my life is there, my goals with running are to take it as far as I mentally and physically can. If I’m able to do that for the next few years, the goal is to be increasingly competitive on the national stage.

YG: What athletic tips would you give to a first-year student who is interested in running for StFX?

AC: I would encourage that student to go tryout and give it their shot. I think successful runners on the StFX team come from all walks of sport. You will have those who are superstars coming in and they don’t take as much time to walk up the ranks in the team and become intrinsic members. You will have those who have to wait a bit longer and stick it out. A tip that I would give is to be patient and trust the process. It wouldn’t be to work extremely hard for one week as it would be to work quite hard for 52 weeks and do it again, and again. 

Now, I’m one year removed from X and my best friends that I talk to everyday are fellow X-Men and X-Women, roommates and teammates. Cross-country and track-and-field are in essence sports for individuals. However, at X, there very much is that aspect of team that follows you wherever you go. Work consistently hard and results will come.