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Ottawa Sports Pages 10th Anniversary Headquarters

The Ottawa Sports Pages is celebrating our 10th Anniversary! Established in Fall 2011 to shine a light on local sport, we’ve since told over 6,000 stories on high school, university, community and elite amateur sport that are almost never covered by other media.

We held a celebration on Oct. 16 at Rideau Sports Centre where we announced an important initiative that will help us continue to tell these stories for the next 10 years, and beyond:

The Ottawa Sports Pages Fund was launched in partnership with the Ottawa Community Foundation, which will be matching all (tax-deductible) donations made up to $5,000. Please find out more and contribute via: OttawaSportsPages.ca/Donate

Ottawa Sports Pages Top-10s for 10

Through to the end of 2021, the Sports Pages will be unveiling a series of top-10 lists to look back on local sports highlights and stories from the past 10 years. A new post is published daily on the Sports Pages‘ social media channels, and you can also follow along here.

Top-10 Inspirational Stories

It was darn near impossible to narrow this list down to 10 because pretty much every person we feature in the Ottawa Sports Pages is inspirational. But the amazing group we’ll present to you here we’re sure will give you a little lift from any dark news swirling around, just in time for the holidays 🙂

#10
Yes, the St. Patrick Irish 2012 senior boys were a great basketball team, but this group of mostly first-generation Canadians wrote a story about school spirit, a community coming together, and underdogs rising above. READ STORY…

#9
From years training in an elementary school gymnasium in Kanata, to driving to/from Montreal at least 3 times a week, to moving to Toronto during her senior year of high school, Lucinda Nowell earned the dream reward for her rhythmic gymnastics journey at the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games. READ STORY…

#8
Mimi Rahneva moved to Canada at age 10, biked 20+ km to get to/from track camp at age 11, played university rugby, stayed in a church basement to get started in skeleton and worked full-time while training to reach the Olympics. READ STORY…

#7
Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson was one of the world’s best swimmers, but some days she’d abruptly break down crying in the middle of the pool. These were the worst days of her battle with depression, but she emerged as a strong athlete mental health advocate and a 2016 Olympic berth. READ STORY…

#6
Rejection from alpine ski national team, titanium rod in her leg after a crash, managing Type 1 diabetes alongside high-performance sport – Hannah Schmidt has faced her share of adversity en route to becoming a world-class ski cross talent. READ STORY…

#5
Cycling has dealt him piles of broken bones and more twists and turns than a switchback road in the Alps, but the foot that kept breaking and ultimately broke Mike Woods’ running career was perhaps the biggest challenge he had to overcome on his eventual climb to the top of the cycling world. READ STORY…

#4
You probably won’t find a path to the pinnacle of sport as improbable as Vanessa Gilles’. She only took up soccer in Grade 10, first appeared for Canada at age 22, and watched from the sidelines before playing a starring role in her team’s gold medal run. READ STORY…

#3
Fundraising for people disadvantaged by COVID, working at a homelessness shelter, rallying support for Black Lives Matter and Indigenous reconciliation, plus playing rugby for Team Canada – Pam Buisa makes the most of every moment. READ STORY…

#2
Brianna Hennessy says sport taught her the resilience required for rehab after being stuck by a taxicab and becoming tetraplegic, and she’s worked her way into a world-class athlete and Paralympian, coming just over 1 second away from the podium in Tokyo a year after taking up paddling. READ STORY…

#1
He arrived in Ottawa with nothing but his backpack, clothes and a pair of running shoes, but Rwandan refugee Yves Sikubwabo became an OFSAA and Canadian university running champion, and started a foundation to provide school/sports opportunities to children in Kenya and Rwanda. READ STORY…

Top-10 Sport Injustices

If you’ve been around sport over a long period, you know it’s not always all fun and games all the time. Politics, unfair circumstances, or inequities reflected from society can sometimes creep in. It’s not always fun for us to report on either, but it can be important to highlight when people feel they’ve been treated unjustly. Caution: this list isn’t intended as a countdown to who we feel has been wronged the most, but we do want to look back on some of the more serious topics we’ve covered in the past decade, since that’s another vital role our publication strives to fill as we provide a voice for local sport.

#10
With the headline: “Skating a Fine Line Between Team Canada and The Beer Leagues”, this 2012 article shows that the situation hasn’t changed a whole lot in many ways for women’s hockey players who aren’t quite at the national team level. READ STORY…

#9
Jade Maisonneuve called it “institutional sexism” as Hockey Canada and the IIHF plowed forward to create a bubble so the men’s world juniors could carry on through COVID while she and U18 women’s Team Canada hopefuls were left sidelined. READ STORY…

#8
One observer called it “frightening” to see local Minister Lisa MacLeod proudly wearing a Nepean Wildcats jacket while announcing government COVID relief funding that included $2.35 million for the OHL’s post-secondary scholarship fund (but no equivalent for female athletes). READ STORY…

#7
The reasons were a little different, but the result was the same – NCSSAA and Algonquin College student-athletes missed out this fall on provincial competition while the rest of Ontario played on. READ STORY ON HIGH SCHOOLS AND ALGONQUIN COLLEGE.

#6
Despite being among the best in the world, Kelleigh Ryan and the Canadian women’s foil team were excluded from the 2016 Olympics due to IOC limits on fencing participants. But Ryan wound up using it as fuel for a groundbreaking performance in Tokyo. READ STORY…

#5
Alicia Brown endured “the most trying years of my life” in the lead-up to the Rio 2016 Olympics, as she wound up serving the harshest penalty ever imposed for a doping violation of its nature. READ STORY…

#4
A labour dispute between teachers and the province in 2012-2013 put many high school athletes on the sidelines – nailing students at schools in lower-income areas the hardest, with many of them losing their only organized sports opportunities. READ STORY…

#3
After thinking they’d won the Ontario Youth Soccer League east division title, the OSU Force U14 girls were faced with 2 must-win games on the same day when the OYSL ordered a match they’d won 2 months earlier to be replayed. READ STORY…

#2
It’s a problem that’s existed historically and that persists over and over again today – racial inequities in sport. Our racial inclusion special edition kind of only scratched the surface on the topic, but one recent example that illustrates the problem was local basketball being hit disproportionately hard by COVID. READ STORY…

#1
Our analysis found that over 98% of sports coverage in local mainstream media was on pro sports and less than 9% of stories featured female athletes. The Ottawa Sports Pages offers a voice for those untold stories. READ STORY…

Top-10 Classic Cleary Stories

This Top-10’s for 10 category recognizes a younger but really awesome anniversary – it’s been one year since 48-year local sportswriting veteran Martin Cleary’s HIGH ACHIEVERS column began appearing daily on OttawaSportsPages.ca. This list of tribute pieces looks at individuals who have coloured the Ottawa sports community over many years, and where Martin’s passion and appreciation for the people involved in local sport jumps off the page:

#10
The first of our Classic Cleary Top-10 is a tribute to Ted Larose, who passed away on Nov. 28, 2020. The well-respected former St. Pius X High School teacher and head football coach won 9 Carleton board/city titles over 3 decades. READ MORE…

#9
Twins Jennie and Jolene Wong were among those celebrated earlier this year by the Carleton Ravens. Originally both soccer players, while Jennie played a full career, Jolene found learned to thrive as a supporter after two knee injuries cut her career short after her first year. READ MORE…

#8
Ever since Scott Searle was a young boy, he was fascinated by the sport of softball – the pitcher’s intriguing windmill arm action, the rapid player movements when the ball is in play, the compact nature of the game. And to his credit, he never grew out of it. READ MORE…

#7
Mike Scott turned 90 last December. Scott’s been a staple of Ottawa’s amateur sports scene for three-quarters of a century as a soft-spoken and energetic leader in paddling and boxing.
READ MORE…

#6
Many retired elite athletes will tell you coaching isn’t for them. Sherraine Schalm, a four-time Olympic women’s epee fencer and one of Canada’s greatest on the piste, used to count herself among that group. That changed thanks to her daughter. READ MORE…

#5
Theresa Kavanagh is a morning person. That’s her special time to cross-country ski, run or cycle. It’s the perfect counterbalance to her job as the Ottawa city councillor for Bay Ward 7.
READ MORE…

#4
The Canadian cross-country championships will be held in Ottawa for this first time this year and next — which will be the first two times the city’s ever hosted the event.
READ MORE…

#3
Lynda Kiejko, on Winchester, Ont., was Canada’s lone shooting athlete to compete at the Tokyo Games — which were the 2nd Olympics she competed in. As the daughter of the late Rev. Bill Hare, a three-time Olympian in the men’s pistol, it was also the second time she’d be attending an Olympics in Tokyo. READ MORE…

#2
Four-time world champion curler Craig Savill, of Manotick, learned in February that his Hodgkin’s lymphoma had returned. He talked about the drain the disease and its treatment was taking on him in April. We’re glad to spoil this one: in September he posted that he was ‘2-0’ vs. cancer. READ MORE…

#1
Rosie Warden passed away on Nov. 10, 2020 at age 42. She loved basketball and the game loved her; she loved the Boys and Girls’ Club of Ottawa and the campers loved her; and she loved her family and her children loved her. READ MORE…

Top-10 Team Titles Won at Home

Winning the championship is already an exhilarating experience for any team, but it’s just that much more special when it’s the home team that wins it, and friends and family are there to share in the moment. Here is our list of top-10 team titles won in town:

#10
Playing their 8th game in 4 days, the home crowd gave the Nepean Ravens U16 ringette team all the fuel they needed to win the 2017 ‘AA’ provincial championship at Walter Baker Arena, cheering them on almost as loudly as the players on the bench. READ STORY…

#9
After capturing Ottawa’s first-ever OVFL title at the Senior level in 2013, the Myers Riders replicated the results in 2014 – Senior and Bantam champions, and Junior finalists – and they got to do it at home at Carleton University, with a dramatic finish to boot. READ MORE…

#8
The Ottawa South United U16 boys were 1 of 2 OSU squads — and 3 total local teams — to upset Toronto’s perennial reign atop provincial youth soccer in 2013 by becoming Eastern Ontario’s first-ever Ontario Youth Soccer League champions. They clinched the title at home, and set the stage for more local provincial soccer crowns in future years. READ MORE…

#7
Gatineau’s Arianne Bonhomme and the Ottawa-based Cyclery-Opus road cycling team did right by their hometown crowd by emerging victorious from the 2016 Canadian road cycling championships.
READ MORE…

#6
If two’s a coincidence, three’s a trend, what’s something that happens 10 times in a row? Nakkertok Racing might have the answer, as it was their club that extended their overall national title-winning streak to a decade in 2019 — and doing so at home in Gatineau. READ MORE…

#5
They did it in 2021 as well, but we’re looking back to the Rideau Canoe Club’s national club burgee victory in 2015 at Mooney’s Bay. Its victory six years ago was the first time in 13 years that the club took home the team title at the Canadian Sprint Canoe Kayak Championships. READ MORE…

#4
In the 64th minute of the 2018 U Sports championship, the Gee-Gees’ Miranda Smith intercepted a pass on her home field and sailed in the game’s winning score from 29 yards out. Coming off the hometown athlete’s foot, it couldn’t have been a sweeter victory for uOttawa. READ MORE…

#3
Thirteen years they’d waited. Three previous championship game trips, but no titles. Finally in 2012, given the chance to win the long-awaited W-League crown on the Algonquin College field where they’d dominated for years, the Ottawa Fury’s women’s team pulled it off. READ MORE…

#2
Team Homan’s resume was full of success long before the last Olympic trials. However, it was there — at the 2017 Roar of the Rings at the Canadian Tire Centre — where Rachel and her Rideau Curling Club rink finally won the elusive right to go to the Games. READ MORE…

#1
The Carleton Ravens could have made this list a few times having captured national crowns in Ottawa in 2013, 2014 and 2020, but we think their 2014 win over the uOttawa Gee-Gees was the best of the best. READ MORE…

Ottawa Athletes’ Top-10 International Multi-Sport Games Triumphs

These are the moments athletes work their entire lives for, when all the dedication pays off, and dreams come true. Here is our list our Ottawa athletes’ biggest triumphs at international multi-sport games from the past decade:

#10
Patrice Dagenais and Team Canada wheelchair rugby beat USA for the first time in 8 years to win heart-stopping 1-point semi-final en route to London 2012 Paralympics silver. READ STORY…

#9
At a Games on home soil where Ottawa athletes spoiled us rotten by winning over 2 dozen medals, recently-retired Sam Cornett earned the most with 3 from the women’s singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles squash competitions at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games. READ STORY…

#8
With Canadian victories before and after her race, Kate Goodfellow found herself in the middle of a red-and-white rowing rush to gold at the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games. The uOttawa/Ottawa Rowing Club athlete won the women’s quad sculls event by a huge margin over USA. READ STORY…

#7
It couldn’t get much bigger than this for Kelleigh Ryan and the Canadian women’s foil fencing team. They hadn’t beaten USA in 7 years, but in the gold medal final at Toronto 2015, in a sudden-death extra period, on home soil, they scored the OT winner and got to sing O Canada. READ STORY…

#6
It was the breakout moment that launched Melissa Bishop to a future World Championships silver medal and 4th-place Olympics finish. The Ottawa Lions product overtook a podium’s worth of 800 m runners on the final stretch to win gold and produce an indelible image of Toronto 2015. READ STORY…

#5
Former University of Ottawa Gee-Gees captain Natasha Watcham-Roy helped the Canadian rugby sevens team win gold at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto, before capturing bronze at the 2016 Rio Summer Games, where the sport made its Olympic debut. READ STORY…

#4
The crowd of 80,000 did the wave in sync with the pace Jason Dunkerley set as race leader, and the 35-year-old gave the best performance of his career at the 2012 London Paralympics, winning two medals at what would turn out to be his penultimate Games appearance. READ STORY…

#3
Not long after losing the Canadian championships against Canada’s GOAT women’s curler, Ottawa’s Dawn McEwen teamed up with Jennifer Jones. Their partnership culminated in multiple national championships, a world title, and finally an Olympic gold medal at Sochi 2014. READ STORY…

#2
Erica Wiebe’s Rio Games started and ended the same way: singing O Canada. The wrestler burst into the Olympic spotlight in a big way by capturing gold, the admiration of Canadians, and she was even the final image in CBC’s end-of-Games montage. READ STORY…

#1
It can sometimes be difficult to judge how big that moment will feel when looking back years later, but it’s hard to imagine there could ever really be a larger triumph than Vanessa Gilles and Canada’s women’s soccer team experienced this summer in Tokyo. READ STORY…

Powerful Paralympians

The keynote speakers at the celebrations event were local Paralympians Patrice Dagenais and Brianna Hennessy, who shared deeply personal stories of the accidents that changed their lives, the parasports that gave them new life, and their journeys to representing Canada at the Games.

You can watch a replay of the event livestream below (Dagenais begins speaking at the 19:45 mark, and Hennessy at 39:50):

Rogers TV Daytime interview

Ottawa Community Sport Media Team Executive Director Dan Plouffe appeared on Rogers TV Daytime on Nov. 4 to talk about the Ottawa Sports Pages‘ 10-year Anniversary and the launch of the Ottawa Sports Pages Fund. You can watch the interview below:

Ottawa Sports Pages newspaper covers

At the celebrations event, we had a big backdrop with the covers of all 96 editions of the Ottawa Sports Pages newspaper we’ve published – below, you are welcome to take a trip down memory lane and scroll through those (you can also read the online version of every newspaper here).

We are tremendously thankful to have enjoyed such great support from our local sports community over the years, and we look forward to continuing to share your amazing stories for many years to come. Again, please consider a contribution to the Ottawa Sports Pages Fund to help us in that next chapter.

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