Queen's Gazette | Queen's University

The Magazine Of Queen's University

Search form

Athletics roundup

Athletics roundup

[photo of children underwater]
Photo courtesy Making Waves Kingston

An innovative program at Queen’s is changing the way that children with special needs learn to swim.

Former Gael among newest Order of Canada appointments

Dr. James Rutka, O.C., Meds’81, was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in July. Dr. Rutka was honoured for his contributions to advancing treatment for pediatric brain tumours and for his international leadership in neurosurgery. Dr. Rutka's clinical practice is at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. 

Rutka was the Gaels quarterback in 1978 when the team defeated the UBC Thunderbirds 16-11 at Varsity Stadium for their second Vanier Cup championship. He holds the Gaels all-time record for rushing yards in a season by a quarterback with 308. He was drafted in the 3rd round, 26th overall, in the 1979 CFL draft by the Montreal Alouettes. In 1995, he was elected to the Queen's Football Hall of Fame.

Also named as an Officer of the Order of Canada was Dr. Paul Hebert, O.C., Arts’69, for his achievements as an evolutionary biologist, notably as a pioneer of DNA barcoding. Dr. Hebert is a professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph.

The newest Members of the Order of Canada include:

  • Ms. Ida Albo, C.M., MA’83 (Economics), of Winnipeg, for her contributions to the vitality of her city as a respected business and civic leader,

  • Mr. James Dinning, C.M., Com’74, MPA’77, for his public service, notably as Alberta’s minister of Finance and provincial treasurer, and for his corporate and civic engagement,

  • Dr. Jack Mintz, C.M., MA’75 (Economics), Director, School of Public Policy, University of Calgary, for his contributions as an advisor on fiscal and tax policy at the national and international levels, widely sought after by governments, businesses and non-profit organizations, and

  • Dr. Ruth Wilson, C.M., Professor, Department of Family Medicine, Queen’s University, for her contributions to improving primary care in Ontario and for her leadership in family medicine.

Varsity Leadership Council

The Varsity Leadership Council (VLC) speaks on behalf of the Queen's student-athletes regarding all relevant issues and decisions within Athletics & Recreation. It has representation from all 13 varsity teams and 20 varsity clubs on campus. The VLC aims to promote a positive image of Queen's Athletics and build relations with the Queen's University and Kingston communities through volunteer opportunities and outreach programs. The VLC fosters a student-athlete community through team building events and support at all home competitions. Past initiatives of the VLC include a Gaels school visit program, the Colour awards banquet, and in early 2015, “Stand up 4 mental health awareness day,” an initiative in partnership with Jack.org. The priorities of the 2015-16 VLC will be announced later this year.

Colour Awards

[photo of Liz Boag with trophy]
Basketbal player Liz Boag, Artsci'15, received the PHE'55 Alumnae Award. (Photo by Ian MacAlpine)

Each season, Queen's University Athletics & Recreation honours its top student-athletes at Colour Awards banquets. “Colour Night” started in 1936. These days, there are two awards events: one for varsity teams, and one for varsity clubs. Queen’s staff who help student-athletes are also recognized. The Varsity Support Service Awards honour staff in athletic therapy, athlete services, home events, and strength and conditioning. Learn about this year’s award recipients online at gogaelsgo.com.

The PHE'55 Alumnae Award was created in 1964 by PHE’55 alumnae and awarded annually to recognize a female varsity team athlete who has “brought the most honour to Queen’s University by her athletic and scholastic ability.” The first recipient of the award, in 1964, was Katherine "Cookie" Cartwright, Arts’62, Law’65.  This year’s recipient was basketball player Liz Boag, Artsci’15. A captain for the past three years, she was also a CIS academic All-Canadian twice and led all scorers at the 2013-14 CIS Championship in points per game. Rugby player Jacob Rumball, Artsci’15, received the Jenkins Trophy as the top male senior student-athlete. He is a two-time OUA All-Star, OUA MVP in 2014 and team captain for the last two seasons. The very first recipient of the Jenkins Trophy was Robert Seright, BSc’31, in 1931.

Making waves

[photo of childern underwater
(Photo courtesy Making Waves Kingston)

An innovative program at Queen’s is changing the way that children with special needs learn to swim. Making Waves Kingston is a not-for-profit student-led initiative that provides affordable and accessible recreational swimming lessons for kids who need them. “Because of their disabilities, many of these kids need the one-on-one environment,” says Ben Frid (Meds’15), who started the Kingston chapter of the national organization early on in his medical degree. “The problem is that private swimming lessons are usually expensive.” By using up to 100 student volunteers as instructors, Dr. Frid explains that the Making Waves program can offer an academic year’s worth of lessons for a mere $25. “Some of the participants need help from a safety perspective, particularly if they have a cottage or a pool,” says Dr. Frid, explaining that children with disabilities are ten times more likely to succumb to drowning-related injuries than their able-bodied peers. “Some are trying to pass a swimming level, and others are just there for the social aspect. They bond with their instructors and they bond with the other kids. There is always a lot of fun commotion going on.” makingwaveskingston.org

New director, high performance sport

In June, Sean Scott joined Queen’s Athletics & Recreation as the department's director, high performance sport. This is a new position: Sean is responsible for the development and implementation of comprehensive annual and long-range sport-specific performance plans that are sport-centred, athlete-focused and outcome-based, and conducive to positioning Queen's teams at the competitive level to achieve provincial and national prominence, while enhancing the mission, image and reputation of Queen's University's Athletics programs and events. Prior to coming to Queen’s, Sean worked with Own the Podium, where he spent time designing the plan to identify and develop the next generation of Canadian Olympic and Paralympic champions.

Sailing away

[photo of sal boats]
The Queen's sailing club boasts new racing sails, thanks to alumni.

With Lake Ontario steps away from campus, Queen’s attracts a number of talented sailors. The Queen’s varsity sailing club is one of the few Canadian members in the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA). The club’s members race in more than 25 regattas in the competitive Middle Atlantic district. Queen’s also participates in the Canadian Intercollegiate Sailing Association (CICSA) and is a leading force in this division. A number of Queen’s sailors have gone on to the Olympic Games. Learn more about the team at www.queenssailing.ca.

Two of those Olympians, Oskar Johansson, Artsci’02, Sc’02, and Bernard Luttmer, Sc’03, are two partners, with fellow sailor A.J. Keilty, Com’03, in a local real estate development enterprise. Last fall, the trio, who are building University Suites, a new condominium complex in Kingston, donated 20 sets of racing sails for Queen’s sailors. “We used to take old sails out of the garbage of U.S. schools back in the day because supplies were tight,” says Bernard.”Queen’s and the sport of sailing have provided all of us with a lot of opportunity, and we want to give back.”

Gaels and alumni at the Pam Am Games

Sailors Terry McLaughin, Artsci'79, and his son, Evert McLaughlin, Sc'12, were among the Queen's alumni at this summer's Pam Am Games. The former received a silver medal in the J-24 race, and the latter came in fifth place in the Open Snipe event.  Read about more Queen's connections at the Pam Am Games.

BEWIC Sports Days

Every January, the ARC is taken over for BEWIC Sports Days, a two-day co-ed intramural competition featuring games such as water-volleyball, innertube-waterpolo and rugby-basketball. More than 1000 students get involved every year. Prizes are awarded for team spirit and sportsmanship as well as top standing in the games.  

Before BEWIC “co-ed” sports events,  Queen’s had Bews programs for men (named after James G. Bews) and WIC programs (Women’s Intramural Committee) for women.  Do you have memories or photos from BEWIC sports days or their predecessors that you’d like to share? Email us at review@queensu.ca  

Sports stories from our sister publications

In the Summer 2015 issue of QSB magazine, read about organizational behaviour professor (and soccer player) Matthias Spitzmuller in “Teamwork (at work) and the beautiful game,” plus the 27th annual Queen’s Commerce hockey tournament and “The tale of the Ukrainian hockey jerseys.” qsb.ca/magazine 
In (e)Affect, issue 7, spring 2015, learn about “Finding the formula for physically active kids” with Ian Janssen, a professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies. queensu.ca/vpr/
[cover of Queen's Alumni Review 2015 Issue 3]