The Ridgebacks capped off another athletic season at the Regent Theatre recently with the national bronze-medal winning women’s soccer team taking centre stage.
The soccer team claimed four major awards of a possible seven, including UOIT Team of the Year. The team’s other major award winners included female Athlete of the Year, Kylie Bordeleau, female Freshman of the Year, Rhiannon Kissel, and ETS Captain’s Award, Katherine Koehler-Grassau.
“It feels good to be honoured tonight,” says Bordeleau. “We worked really hard over the year, so I think it was well deserved for us.”
It was the perfect ending to a near perfect season. The team won UOIT’s first ever U Sports medal, a bronze, as well as the school’s first ever OUA gold medal.
Abigail Kawalec, who was on both the badminton and rowing teams, rounded out the three major female award winners claiming the Dr. Gary Polonsky Leadership Award.
Soccer player Fabio Campoli was named Athlete of the Year, Jonas Albaira of badminton claimed Freshman of the Year, and Alexander Cuccovillo, also on the soccer team, won the Dr. Gary Polonsky Leadership Award.
It wasn’t only current student athletes that filled the theatre. There were several Ridgebacks alums to hand out awards as well, one of them being former rower, Christie Attwood.
Attwood had a successful four years with the women’s rowing team and served three years as captain, highlighted by an appearance at the 2012 national championship in her final season. Attwood now serves as a novice women’s coach at the school and is actively involved with the UOIT rowing alumni initiatives.
Attwood was brought on stage for what she thought was a presentation to the rowing team with it’s newest boat. She was stunned when the Ridgebacks’ flag was removed from the boat and written in black letters was the name “Christie Attwood.”
“To have something so meaningful to me, named after me, I don’t have a lot of words for that,”
said Attwood, receiving hugs and congratulations from all around her.
With tears rolling down her face, Attwood doused the boat in champagne for the traditional christening of the boat.
Hosted at the university’s own Regent Theatre, it was a great way to celebrate an incredible and historic year for the Ridgebacks. UOIT manager of Varsity Athletics, Scott Barker, said it’s an important night for everyone involved in the athletic department.
“Being a student athlete is not an easy task when you’re balancing your schoolwork, the full-time commitment to your sport, training and competition. To recognize what they do is really special,” said Barker.
While the program saw a lot of firsts and enjoyed success in competition, the university also enjoyed success in the classroom as well with a record number of student-athletes recognized for their academic success.