Ridgeback captain Nathan Spaling nominated for the Randy Gregg Award.
Photo, article and video by Chantal Da Silva.
UOIT Ridgeback captain Nathan Spaling has been nominated for a prestigious athletics award.
Spaling is up for the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Randy Gregg Award, presented yearly to an athlete who best demonstrates exceptional accomplishment in hockey, academics and community contribution.
The winner will be announced at the CIS national men’s hockey championships March 24 to 27 at the University of New Brunswick.
Captain of the men’s hockey team, Spaling first heard the news from his coach. “He broke the news to me and I don’t know if he was more excited or I was more excited,” he laughed. “But it’s really nice having people around you that really want to see you succeed as much you do.”
Spaling leads the team with ten goals and 16 assists. Coach Marlin Muylaert feels he was the ideal choice as a nominee. “He is a great man and deserved it without question.”
The Criminology and Justice student, who will be receiving his degree this June, has played in every UOIT men’s hockey game in his four years and is the team’s all-time leading scorer. “I try and work hard on and off the ice, it’s nice when it pays off,” he said. “But I also work with great guys and have the proper support to help me achieve as much as I can.”
Still shocked by the news, Spaling feels this nomination is an honour and hopes it sets a foundation for future UOIT athlete accomplishment.
“There are certainly a lot of athletes at UOIT that could have been representatives of this award, they are striving for excellence, and therefore I am very flattered and grateful for this opportunity.”
Even with his hectic hockey and academic schedule, Spaling puts his spare time with community involvement. He was an instructor at the Craig Fisher Hockey School assisting youth with development of skills and has also won numerous awards for his skill and assistance.
Watch the video below to hear more about Spaling’s community involvement.
UOIT's athletes will be rewarded for their achievements in an April ceremony. Their medals will probably be fancier than this.
Story and image by Matt Bird
With few exceptions on-campus sports are pretty much over for the year, and it’s time to hand out some accolades to deserving athletes. Yes, the UOIT Athletics Banquet is on the horizon, coming up on Friday April 8 at Sikorsky Hall in Oshawa.
An annual event now hitting its fourth year, the Athletics Banquet brings athletes, their coaches and any guests they want to attend together to celebrate the year’s athletic accomplishments. Awards and congratulatory pictures are given out to the top athletes.
“Ken Babcock will be presenting the awards,” said Scott Dennis, Sports Information and Marketing Coordinator. “A member of the Student Association will be the master of ceremonies. Usually the VP of Student Affairs and the president speaks as well.”
Attendees will also get dinner and cocktails. “I’m not sure what is on this year’s menu, but it has always been great the three years I have been attending,” said Dennis.
Cocktails will be served starting at 6, with dinner following at 7 and the awards presented shortly after. Attendees are welcome to bring one guest. Students who can’t get to the presentation by car or other means will also have a way to and from the awards, as the university is providing buses to shuttle guests.
Get in the Action by joining the Varsity Game Day Crew
Getting paid to do something you love is, well, it’s awesome. With that said, did you know that you could get paid $10 an hour for going to the Lord’s and Ridgeback’s games. How you ask? By being part of the Varsity Game Day Crew
“The game day crew or the varsity crew is compiled of students on campus through the work study program and they are responsible for the game day operations of varsity events,” said Scott Barker, Athletic Coordinator. “They are the onsite people that run the show in terms of making sure that the games run smoothly and on time.”
Some of the jobs include:
running the score clock
liaising with the visiting teams
doing the score sheets
intermission or halftime events
being the mascot
helping out with community events with the athletes
“We have the great opportunity of having two campuses that we can grab students from,” said Barker.
Both UOIT and Durham College have approval for about eight or nine positions each for the Varsity Game Day Crew. The students are allowed to work about 89 hours per semester, which works out to about a maximum of twelve hours a week per semester.
“If interested the first thing the student should do if they are looking to work in athletics is contact myself or Michael Duggan, who does the hiring for the colleges,” Barker said. “We can give them an idea of what spaces we have available and what the job entails before they go through the entire process:
Now, what is the process? To be part of the crew you need to be accepted into the school’s Work Study Program, which is designed to help students get part-time work on campus while they are in school.
To be accepted into the Work Study Program you have to first meet the criteria. Eligibility requirements includ being be registered as a full time student, be a permanent resident of Canada, show financial need and maintain a 2.0 GPA.
Applications are available on the My Campus website by going to the Financial Aid and Awards Section and clicking on the student tab. Once a student has been approved into the Work Study Program they are eligible to apply for any job on the work study site, which includes athletics and the Varsity Game Dame Crew.
“The scheduling is pretty flexible, but the expectation is that if you are getting paid, it’s treated like a job,” Barker said. “But obviously if there is a school conflict or something that is why we have the volunteers… to cover those holes.”
Most job positions are filled at the beginning of the year, but if there are jobs available and a student is eligible, you can get hired on at anytime of the year, Barker explained. If all the positions are filled, students can still volunteer for the Varsity Crew or there may be opportunities to work in other places in the athletics department, under the work study program.
This weekend, the Ridgebacks men’s hockey team were back on home ice after a long Christmas break. UOIT showed that the break did them good as they turned out a three to two win against the Guelph Gryphons.
UOIT player Josh Vatri scored the first goal of the night, after the Guelph’s goalie came out of the net to chase a loose puck. Guelph tied up the game at the end of the first with a powerplay goal.
After Guelph scored the only goal during the second, the Ridgeback’s came back during the third, fighting for the win. An off the rim goal by Ridgeback player Kyle Wetering tied up the game and force the overtime play.
Players celebrate after a goal.
When overtime solved nothing, the game came to a dramatic finish going five rounds in a shoot out.
But the Ridgebacks came out the winners after number five, Mike Noyes scored with a close range shot.
The Ridgeback’s outshot Guelph 30 to 27 and head coach Marlin Muylaert is very proud of his team’s improvement.
“I’m very proud that our guys found the wear to dig down deep and come up with probably our two best efforts of the year.”
“We played that game with a lot of energy and emotion, even when we were down we found a way to fight back.” Player John McCullough said about his team, “We left it all on the ice.”
But, Muylaert also said there is still room to get better.
“I think we are going to have to continue to play a very tight defensive, low scoring game, and just hope we come out on the right end of those scores.”
This is UOIT’s first win against the Gryphons in the team’s three-year history and will be on the road again fighting to keep the winning alive against The Waterloo Warriors on Friday and The Western Mustangs on Saturday.
For Marlin Muylaert’s complete interview, click play!