Archive for the ‘SPAD Athletes’ Category

2017Oct 31

Another Day’s Work

rowingMy name is Matt Day, I’m a second year student athlete at Laurentian University.  I’ve been playing a support/training role on the school’s rowing team for a year and a half now.  I was recruited in my first year through the school’s novice program where I was selected by Coach Gergely.  Before joining Laurentian’s team, I had no past experience with rowing as a competitive organized sport.  From what I’ve seen, this program has been an amazing learning experience for me.

If I was asked to give an explanation of what rowing is, I would have to describe it by saying, it’s a group of crazy people, sitting in boats, enduring pain, and going fast.  Rowing is a highly competitive endurance sport where athletes compete in 2km distance races.   In order to prepare for these races, myself along with the other members of the team have to train non-stop, starting practices at 5:30 in the mornings every day.  There is nothing quite like seeing the still lake on these calm mornings as the sun rises.   Weights training is done a few days a week.  We also prepare with race planning, and goal setting.  Some of my personal recorded rowing statistics include my time per 500m, which averages to around 1:50min, and my power output which averages to around 800watts.

Although I am an athlete at Laurentian, my main focus is my studies.  I know that I can’t sacrifice school for sports.  I’m glad I gave rowing a shot as it has changed my life as a student at Laurentian, as it has made me rethink how to prioritize schoolwork and balance my workload.  I’m currently enrolled in the outdoor adventure/leadership.  Balancing schoolwork and training has been hard but I’m learning how to manage and prioritize my time well enough, while still leaving time for myself.  I always pick school before the team, whether that means missing a practice to finish an assignment, or going to bed early so I can be well rested for the next day after morning practice.  With the recent strike, I found myself slipping into a bit of a lazier routine.  I started falling behind on schoolwork for a bit, and was getting into the habit of sleeping in, but I was able to quickly get back on track.  I do leave a little time when I’m not rowing or doing schoolwork to myself.  In my free time I’m either playing video games, playing a bit of guitar or trying to make it to the gym.  I also really enjoy eating, I do eat a lot.  

rainbow rowing

Overall, I’m just an average student athlete, that’s getting by as a student and as an athlete.  Being on the rowing team hasn’t made me any less of a student and being a student hasn’t made me any less of an athlete.  I’ve grown a lot in the almost two years I’ve been on this team and I’m honoured to be a member of the Laurentian rowing team and the Laurentian outdoor adventure/leadership program.  

2017Oct 30

Brotherly Love (Nico Correa)

Nico head shot

For as long I can remember, I have been playing soccer. 16 years of my life I have given to the sport that I love. I have played on many teams, each another chapter in my playing career. But the most recent years have had a different dimension that the others have not. As I finish up my second year as a center midfielder for the Laurentian Voyageurs one main aspect that sticks out to me is this:


The last years have allowed me to play with my older brother Daniel.



Growing up together in Burlington, Ontario we played lots of soccer together, just not on a club team. Because of our age gap (two years) we never got the chance to play on any club teams growing up. That said, we spent lots of time with one another and our friends playing games in the park or on the school field. And whenever one of us was on the road with our respective team, the other one would be there cheering the other on and practicing together if we had time.

But now we get the chance to suit up beside one another. As a second year Sport Administration student, or SPAD as it is generally called, I have had the opportunity to not only pursue my studies, but to play university soccer with my brother. Even though we played one year together in high school, I can say playing with him now is a totally new experience. Getting to experience living away from home, and playing with the Voyageurs together has been great.

Nico and Daniel Correa

The connection we have on and off the field has brought us to a whole new level of communication. After so many years of playing together, or watching the other play there is such a natural chemistry. We can look at each other and without speaking know exactly what the other one means. All this to say like any set of brothers we still have our issues whether that is on or off the field, but as brothers we can handle those issues with love for one another and with a mutual respect that has grown for each other as teammates and brothers. It is such a great feeling getting to experience Laurentian with my brother. The ups and downs of team success and success in the classroom as well. We are able to support each other when we win or lose, or when either of us is struggling. He is there for the good and the bad, and I get to be there for him as well.

Getting the chance to continue my playing career at a university level and pursue a field that interests me is an opportunity not everyone gets to have. I get both of those things, as well as the cherry on top: getting to do it all, with my brother beside me.




2017Oct 29

Connor Vande Weghe

Connor Vande Weghe
Written by Tyler Rivest


Being the best isn’t about your natural talent or how lucky you are. Being the best is about working harder then everyone else and wanting to improve yourself to be the best you can possibly be. I would like to tell everyone the path I took to get here and how I came to be the person I am today. I want people to know my story, hear the challenges I went through and where I want to go from here.

       1297867784149_ORIGINALEveryone sees me as the tall goalie from Laurentian University that stops everything that comes his way and has the most amount of saves in the league. But, no one sees what it took to get here and all the hard work and dedication endured. I started off as the goalie for my high school. I had a coach there who really pushed me to my limits. He made me see the game as more than just a sport. He made me see soccer as a lifestyle. We worked hard at practice and whenever I would misstep or make a mistake, he was sure to let me know. However, all that pressure made me a better player and helped me step up to be a leader. I give him a lot of credit and I think he is the biggest reason why, I am now captain of the Laurentian Voyageurs Soccer Team.

3d4882b3ce3d8b28888d13857f5d47c8_400x400 (1)Soccer didn’t always come easy to me and sometimes it still doesn’t. I had to overcome various challenges and obstacles. At the time, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to surpass these obstacles. However, I now know first hand that with a enough hard work, you can do anything. In my first year of playing for the Laurentian, we had a terrible season. We ended with a record of 4 wins, 9 losses and 1 draw. Moral for me and the team was really down. We had the mentality of accepting defeat before the game even started. But, you gotta be able to look past that and into the future. On the off-season, me and team worked hard and it payed off. Now, were in a really good spot to clinch a play-off spot and are sitting 3rd in the league.

Sept_9-17_-_416_storyBut the journey doesn’t stop here. I want to continue improving and growing with Soccer. Next year I want to be able to make it far into the play-offs and make it to the semi-finals and prove to other schools that Laurentian is here to compete and we shouldn’t be taken lightly. Then, the year after that I would like to actually win a championship with my team. I would also like to continue my coaching with my youth team and watch them progress into future athletes and stars. I have made it my main goal to help make soccer grow in the community of Sudbury and allow other people to experience the game as I have.

2014Oct 1

SPAD and Voyageurs Continue Partnership in 2014/15

By Blog Contributor Tyler Fitch

One of the most attractive features of the Sports Administration program at Laurentian University is the amount of hands-on work students experience before earning their degree. Building off of last year’s success, SPAD and Laurentian Athletics have once again partnered in order to give students the opportunity to apply material learned in class, while playing a prominent role in the production of Voyageurs hockey, basketball, and soccer games.

Voyageurs Hockey returned to Laurentian in the 2013/14 Season.

Voyageurs Hockey returned to Laurentian for the 2013/14 Season.

Third-year SPAD students Erica Newman and Melissa Johnstone are managing the men’s basketball twitter account (@VoyageursMBB) for the second year and have also spearheaded the women’s soccer twitter account (@VoyageursWSOC) for the upcoming season. Johnstone believes the experience will help her with her job aspirations.

“I really enjoy social media as well as marketing, and those are two things that I consider as career opportunities for myself,” she said. “I’ve really learned the value of the information we provide and the effect it has on some of our followers. We have people who regularly retweet us and tweet at us, mainly on the men’s account, and are very interactive and engaged in the teams. I think they are very happy [with Athletics adding social media].”

Men’s and women’s hockey, basketball, and soccer all have twitter accounts that are managed by SPAD students, with others helping out in different ways. Second-year student Ben Goodman managed the statistics for both hockey teams last year, and will now be the video coach for the men’s hockey team this year. Like Johnstone, he is confident this experience will be beneficial in the future, as he hopes to one day pursue a career in hockey operations.

“I think my position with the team will be a really valuable experience and a huge step for my development. Over the last year I’ve been trying a lot of different things in different parts of the game so that I could really understand the kind of environment that I’ll be dealing with, but this is really my first shot at contributing directly to a hockey team,” Goodman said. “This season is going to give me a lot of room to grow and a lot of chances to make an impact. I’m really looking forward to it.”

We are excited to closely follow SPADs contribution to Laurentian Athletics and sharing in all of the Voyageurs successes this season. Best of luck to all of our teams, and click on the link below to follow them on twitter.

Women’s Basketball
Men’s Basketball
Women’s Soccer
Men’s Soccer
Women’s Hockey
Men’s Hockey


2014Feb 20

@LU_SPAD Student Athlete Profile: Jordan Hotta – LU Varsity Swim Team

Jordan Hotta is a first year SPAD student on is also on the swim team here at Laurentian. Although Jordan is in his first year here at Laurentian, he does have some past post-secondary education. He also recently attended the OUA swim competition at Brock University. He discusses all of that, and more in this blog interview. Enjoy!

Jordan in the water

Jordan in the water

SB: Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. I’ll start off by asking how you are enjoying your first year in SPAD?

JH: My first year in SPAD was a nice change in pace from my Western Medical Science degree. Highlights of the SPAD program to me are definitely the personal learning experience afforded to students by the highly invested staff. In SPAD you can definitely tell that both students and teachers are here because they truly love what they are doing, and not just to ramble on, or earn a slip of paper.

SB: You used to attend the University of Western Ontario, what did you study there? What made you want to switch to Laurentian and SPAD?

JH: At Western I was enrolled in the Bachelor of Medical Science program, specifically in the Physiology and Medical Cell Biology streams. I decided that Laurentian would be my next step because I wanted to pursue competitive swimming at my home pool under a coach I know and trust, Phil Parker. Further, SPAD seemed like just the right mix of the practical and theoretical aspects of business, with some nice athletic flavor thrown in. Skills inherent in business, in my opinion, represent a highly transferable credential that could compliment my science background.

SB: How long have you been swimming competitively? Where did you find such a passion for the sport?

JH: I’ve been swimming competitively for around ten years up to this point; however, that span of time isn’t without a few breaks. I originally attended Western set on training, and competing in royal purple; but the rigors of academics bested me in my youth. After a four year hiatus, I realized that chlorine is in my blood and I needed to get back in the pool – enter Laurentian. The atmosphere at LU pool conjured from not only fellow swimmers and coaches, but from the history of Olympic gold and world record setting swims, is something that gets into your veins and builds an insatiable hunger for the roar of competition. When you get in the water, and this may sound cliché, it feels like the whole world, and all of the problems that hammer on you, day in and day out, just flow off. When you get in the pool, it’s just you, the water rushing by your ears, the black line running underneath you, and a goal of where you want to be in 1, 2, 3, or 4 years.

SB: You recently represented Laurentian at the OUA Swim meets earlier in February, how was that experience for you? Will there be any more competitions this year?

JH: The OUA experience was something that I’d been waiting for, for a long time – since I was a club swimmer looking up to the “varsity guys.” My expectations were definitely exceeded. The air in the Brock pool was electric, the stands were full, the deck was packed; and for a few exhilarating races you could tell everyone there had put their chips all in. In particular was the 4x100m freestyle relay, a classic underdog scenario. Off the third exchange the defending champs still held the lead but then the a team seeded third in the race began to charge; every spectator was on their feet cheering, chanting, whatever they needed to do to will their team on to victory. The gap was shrinking precipitously and the two last racers were running out of pool. As both competitors extended aching arms into the wall, the finish was too close to call. Everyone’s eyes darted to the scoreboard, the third ranked team had upset the defending champs, it was this sort of collective excitement that I had dreamt of experiencing as a chubby ten year old who just loved to fool around underwater.

For me personally, I had the bad luck of getting food poisoning on my first night of competition – it will be the last time I order a roast beef sandwich at a meet, instead of my usual pasta and chicken. Despite this, I was able to mine 3/3 for best times and get a second swim in my 50m breaststroke, finishing in 13th place. I knew going into the season I would need to fight every day in order to make up the ground I lost during my 4 year reprieve from the water. With that in my mind, my goals for 2013/14 were all very nearly met, aside from my ongoing battle to score a CIS time standard in the 50m distance.

The varsity season has drawn to a close; however, I will still be competing for the Voyageurs sister club, the Sudbury Laurentian Swim Club.

SB: Do you ever find it challenging to balance both school and sports?

JH: There are certainly times when the strains of meeting the expectations I set for myself both academically and athletically seem daunting. With that in mind, I think it’s important to be conscious of the balancing acts that everyone experiences. I’m fortunate enough to be balancing a sport I love with an education I find interesting. That being said, I always try to always remain relaxed and tackle one challenge at a time, whether it’s a monstrous set in swimming, or an assignment for class.

SB: What are some of your aspirations after completing your degree in SPAD?

JH: I would love to be involved with Swimming Canada; or aquatic sport in general. The understanding of the human body from my physiology background, coupled with management skills from SPAD will give me a unique perspective on how best to elevate and push the sport of swimming forward. I would also like to coach swimming on the side if time allows – the swim world is one I never want to stray from again.

SB: Thank you for taking the time to do this interview! Good luck with the rest of your semester!

JH: Thanks so much!

Stay connected to the SPAD Blog on social media. Follow us at @LU_SPAD or like us on Facebook for all the latest updates

2014Jan 14

Voyageurs Get Set To “Shoot For The Cure”

1609599_10153650812845147_1833029723_nBasketball season is in full swing here at Laurentian University. Both the men and women teams’ are battling for position within their respective conferences. As per tradition, the women’s team, LU Athletics, and SPAD will be hosting the annual “Shoot For The Cure” game with proceeds going to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. This year, the game will take place on Saturday, January 18th at the Ben Avery Gymnasium on campus. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:00pm.

The CIS began the “Shoot for a Cure” campaign in 2007, and it has been a tremendous success ever since. All CIS Women’s Basketball schools take part in the fundraising campaign. This is a total of 45 teams nationwide. In it’s 6+ years, the campaign has amassed over $600,000 in donations, and has generated over $520,000 for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. You can read more about the fundraising efforts here.

Much like the “Pink The Rink” game back in November, “Shoot For The Cure” allows for SPAD’s Event Management students to get involved with LU Athletics, and give back to the community. Students have been hard at work organizing and preparing for the big game, so be sure to come out and show some support on Saturday night!

A number of fundraising initiatives have been planned for the event. Official event t-shirts will be on sale in the Great Hall throughout the week and at the gym before/during the game. Fans at the game will also receive a “rally towel” to add to the game’s atmosphere. Furthermore, raffle prizes will be available at the game. Moreover, a halftime contest will be held for prizes where a participant will shoot from varying distances for different prizes. Fans will be able to buy a chance to enter the halftime contest.1609812_10153657024795147_1396126192_n

For students living on residence, there will also be a “Pep Rally” taking place in West Residence from 4:30-5:30pm on game day. Everyone will be wearing Pink, Blue, and Yellow so you won’t want to miss out on all of the excitement!

For more information on the event, or to find out how you can help, please visit the Event Page on Facebook, and follow the event on Twitter! Hope to see everyone at the gym on Saturday night!

Stay connected to the SPAD Blog on social media. Follow us at @LU_SPAD or like us on Facebook for all the latest updates

2013Dec 23

@LU_SPAD Student Athlete Profile: Maggie Brennan


Maggie Brennan, 1st year SPAD student.

Maggie Brennan has had a lot of additional responsibilities this year above and beyond being a 1st year SPAD Student. Maggie is also a 1st year athlete for the Voyageurs Women’s Hockey team, now in the midst of their inaugural season for Laurentian. Recently, we were able to sit down with Maggie and learn a bit about the life of a SPAD student athlete.

Q: Hi Maggie, thanks for sitting down with us to give us and our readers a better idea of the life of a SPAD student athlete. We wanted to just start off by getting a bit of a background on you. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background in hockey.

MB: Hey, yeah it’s no problem! Thanks for having me and asking me to be a part of this. So obviously my name is Maggie Brennan, and I am here at Laurentian in my first year of SPAD and to be apart of the Women’s Hockey team. My hometown is Ottawa, so I live in Nepean, Ontario. I have been playing hockey since I was just little, I have been playing for the Nepean wildcats for the past eleven years.


2013Dec 13

@LU_SPAD Student Athlete Profile: Cam Brooks


Cam Brooks, our very own OUA All-Star in action.

Cam Brooks, 4th year SPAD student and 4th year defense for the Varsity Men’s Soccer team, completed a four month summer internship with XMC Sports and Entertainment from May to August of this year. He then returned to Laurentian for his 4th and final SPAD year and his 4th season as an key contributor to the Men’s Soccer team. He recently talked to us about the Roller Coaster that was his 4th season with the team and his academic aspirations surrounding his final year in SPAD.

Q: First off Cam, congratulations on what is an incredible accomplishment, a 4-time OUA All-Star in as many years. Tells us a bit about the season through your eyes?

CB: Thanks Cam, it was a big honour to be named a first team all-star again this year. It was nice to be rewarded for the hard work that I put in and the excellence that I strive for every single day and in all facets of my life, academically and athletically.


2013Sep 25

@LU_SPAD Student-Athlete Profile: Samantha Edwards

Second Year SPAD Student, Samantha Edwards from Toronto, Ontario enters her second year at Laurentian University as both a SPAD student and a varsity athlete. With the third week of the school year starting and the first race of the season done, Sam has agreed to talk with us about the work of being both a varsity athlete and a SPAD student in their core year of studies.SamanthaEdwards_use

Q: How many and what varsity teams do you compete on for the Laurentian Voyageurs?

SE: Being a runner, I compete on both the Cross Country and the Track and Field teams. This means training and competing throughout both semesters-meaning you don’t get any sort of downtime!