Ridley athletics back on track
It’s full steam ahead for athletics at Ridley College.
Ridley Athletics launched a full return to competition this fall and director of athletics Courtney Smith could not be more pleased.
“At Ridley we understand and value the importance of physical activity and believe it’s fundamental to the well being of our students,” Smith said. “That has been our priority from the start and we did the work needed to bring inter-school sport back to campus.
“Every student is back to co-curriculars five days a week and we’ve even started to welcome youth programs like CYO Basketball and Niagara North back into our facilities.”
Smith said the difference on campus with sports back full time is noticeable.
“The campus is alive and well again,” she said. “It’s nice to walk around at the end of the day and see our fields, courts and Tiger Arena buzzing again. It’s an energy that we definitely missed last year.”
Ridley has a long and storied tradition in sports dating back to 1889.
“It’s a part of our DNA, it’s part of our culture,” Smith said. “It’s an integral part of our community, and it’s a huge part of every student’s life here at Ridley.”
Smith said the school has a wide range of policies dealing with the return to sports in the midst of the COVID pandemic.
“In collaboration with our public health authorities and guidance from our provincial and national sport organizations, we developed comprehensive policies related to visiting teams and spectators to campus.
“Our primary goal was to ensure that student-athletes could once again enjoy the benefits of competition and parents could watch their son/daughter engage in sport again.”
Highlights for the fall semester were plentiful
• Shane Keagan ‘22 represented Canada at the World Rowing Junior Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
• Mia Giles ‘23 represented Canada at the Olympic Hopes Regatta in the Czech Republic, finishing fourth in the K-2 1000m.
• Dylan Kalambay ’21 returned to the court for the first time after receiving a heart transplant less than a year ago. The night was made even more memorable when Toronto Raptors Head Coach, Nick Nurse and Basketball Canada attended to show their support.
• Autumn Crowe ’23 won the U17 Youth Women’s Single (2nd in the U19 event) at the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, MA.
• Prep Girls Hockey, Prep Boys Hockey and Prep Boys Basketball programs have returned to competition within their respective leagues (OWHA, MPHL and OSBA).
With the fall term complete, the focus has shifted to indoor sports.
“We’ll start our winter CISAA (Conference of Independent Schools Athletic Association) fixtures early December, leave for break and then come back and finish those seasons up prior to departing for March Break, Smith said.”
Smith said each year the school comes up with a theme and this year it is courage.
“I really took it to heart in the sense that we need to have the courage to get our students back to sport and allow them to experience the benefits of competition again. I think the pandemic has proven just how important physical activity is to everyone’s well-being and I’m grateful that Ridley is able to provide that for our students.”
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