Monday, August 26, 2013

True Sportsmanship

What is sportsmanship?

Is it abiding to the rules of the game, respecting your opponentor simply being a “good loser”?

Sportsmanship has many formal definitions and those are different for everyone. However, true sportsmanship, in every single aspect, can be found at the Special Olympics.

Last weekend, Paige Paulsen and I volunteered at the NB Special Olympics Summer Games. The event brought together Special Olympics athletes from all over the Atlantic provinces to participate in a wide variety of sports. We were assigned to work the track meet. Initially, I was thinking we would be timing races, measuring throw and jump lengths. Standard volunteering procedures. But it turned out to be so much more than that.

We witnessed the up most level of sportsmanship I have ever seen.

Yes, I have seen a lot in my days as an athlete; the opposing players helping one of my teammates up when they fall, congratulating a player on a nice play and so on and so forth. But what I saw this weekend made all those acts seem so small.

Athletes cheering on other athletes while they were racing… against each other. Competitors being so happy with finishing their event even if they were dead last and coming in minutes after all the others. I have never seen a group of athletes that were so happy to be able to participate in their sport of choice simply because they love it. Yes, they are happy when they win but the big difference is that they are equally as happy when they get 8th place.

As athletes, we sometimes get so wrapped up in the game all we can think about is getting the “W”. We often forget why we play our sport in the first place. For most of us, it began when we were children and we truly just loved playing to play, no matter what the scoreboard read.

At one point or another, we all need to be reminded what true sportsmanship is. I believe we should all either attend or volunteer at a Special Olympics event of some sort; not only will it serve as a good reminder, I promise you will not be able to leave without a smile on your face.


In other news, our training camp begins next week with a mini boot camp on Tuesday and Wednesday and team tryouts starting on Friday that will continue through the weekend.

We will also be hosting one of the two AUS-RSEQ interlocks at the end of October. We will be hosting l’Université de Montréal, McGill University, l’Université de Laval and l’Université de Sherbrooke as well as three other AUS teams (I will not lie, I am not quite certain who they are at the moment).

Happy back to school season everyone,

Jodie J

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Think Pink: Giving Back

“Do all the good you can.  By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”

- John Wesley

Sometimes as student-athletes, we get caught up in all the things we have to do; assignment due tomorrow, midterm in two days, practice tonight, workout sometime today... and the list goes on and on. Post-it notes with lists of things to do seem never ending most weeks. Our focus often becomes narrow-minded and we forget that there is a world outside of the gym and the classroom.

We often complain about being tired and not having enough hours in a day but what we not take into consideration is that other people have the same feelings but do not attain them by practicing what they love. Yes, sometimes it sucks to stay up late studying and wake up for an early morning workout, however this is a choice. 

Cancer patients do not have that luxury. 

This is precisely why it is so essential to give back in any way you can, any time you can and by all means you can.

Think Pink weekend (Shoot for the Cure, Dig for the Cure and Pink in the Rink) aims to raise funds for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Our donations are used to improve breast screening programs, advance research and raise awareness. This year, we were able to raise over 10 000$. We did so by organizing volleyball tournaments, bake sales, 50/50's, organizing a raffle, selling loads of pink paraphernalia and collecting individual donations. Additionally, five ponytails (or over 40 inches of hair) were donated to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program. 

I believe it is extremely important that as student-athletes we take the time to give back to the community; whether it is simply going to read a book to class of eager kindergarteners or organizing major events such as a Think Pink or a Right to Play event. We often do not realize to what extent we are seen as role models in the community and the impact we can have on those around us. 


I am sorry for not posting quite as often as I would like to but here is an update on how our season is going:

We are now ranked fourth in the league and this will be our final ranking going into the AUS championships. We will face StFX on Friday night and hopefully come out winners. If we do so, we will meet Dalhousie University in the semi finals. I am almost certain that our games will be webcast (the link can be found on our schedule on the AUS website). 


Jodie :)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

VReds taking over Toronto

       Well, it has been a little while since my last post; exams and the holiday rush have been keeping me really busy! I spent a nice, relaxing week at home but it is time to start up again. I am getting pretty antsy to get back on the court, and I am certain I am not the only one who is. Tomorrow, our team will be traveling to Toronto to play in a tournament and some exhibition, and of course practice in between. Other than the extremely early departure time for the Fredericton girls tomorrow morning (5:30 takeoff :S), we are all very excited to see each other again and play some good volleyball.
         We will have the chance to play against Toronto, Ryerson, Sherbrooke and many other teams. I believe that the fact that we will be able to play against new teams will make us a much better team and prepare us adequately for the second half of our season. We have some tough games coming up in the new year and I think we will be able to do very well.

           One other important thing happening in the near future: THINK PINK !!! As you may have heard, assistant coach, Erin Crossland, and I will both be cutting our ponytails off to then donate them to Locks of Love. In December, we held a bake sale and we raised 500$ !! Our goal is 200$, so we are a quarter of the way there. We will be working at a men's/women's basketball game and hosting a coed intramural volleyball tournament. We are also looking into make Think Pink bracelets made. As you can see we have tons of fundraising to do in the next month if we want to reach our goal. The Think Pink game itself will be held on February 2nd so I encourage you all to mark your calendars :)

           I will try and catch up if I have time in Toronto, if not it will be as soon as I return! 




Monday, December 3, 2012

Finishing the term off with a bang

Third win of the season: CHECK !

Not only did we beat Monctonin three straight sets, but it was by far our best game of the season. Our serve receive was on cue, we hit hard and smart, our setter was on fire and we were serving tough. However, I think it was the team's spirit and energy that truly led us to the win. Everyone was 100% focused on the task at hand and what they needed to do as individuals and as a team to be successful.The first set was a battle; we had to fight hard for to earn our points every rallye but we pulled through and took the set. And things just went from there. Our performance got increasingly better as the game went along. We were invincible.

I just wanted to take a second to talk about our Think Pink initiative. As you may have heard, assistant coach Erin Crossland and I will both be cutting our ponytails (about 8-10 inches of hair) off February 2nd at out annual Think Pink game (which we got fabulous new pink jersey for :) ). Our fundraising goal this year is 2000$ not including what we will raise at the event itself. We held a bake sale last week and we raised 475$. Brian Lewis from Simmons Mattress Gallery made a very 150$ donation to the team. We brought him plate of delicious baked goods which he really seemed to enjoy. We will be holding other fundraising activities after exam season (ughhh...). I will keep you all updated, don't worry. 

Tata for now,

Jodie :)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Remember the Name

Saturday night. 8 pm. McGill University. We are warming up for our game against Laval. We had not been successful (in terms of wins) yet that weekend and needless to say, we are feeling the need to win and beat Laval. Remember the Name starts to play. I do not think there is one song that can motivate me more than this one. I feel as if this song was written for our team this year (ya ya ya, I know it is about a rapper but forget that). 

This is ten percent luck, twenty percent skill
Fifteen percent concentrated power of will
Five percent pleasure, fifty percent pain
And a hundred percent reason to remember the

I think we are often compared to last year's game record. However, we have worked so hard during preseason (and still are) and I can honestly say we are not the same team as last year. We traveled to the Interlock to prove to Quebec teams that we can not only compete with them, but also beat them. We played, without a doubt, one of our best games of the year (other than our first set against Sherbrooke, because that was pretty phenomenal). We showed fight for every ball, we were playing agressively but we knew when to play a smarter ball that could earn us a point. The energy on and off was pretty amazing; we were all supporting each other and every single girl was fully concentrated and ready to kick some butt. Although the score of the game (0-3) was not exactly our desired outcome, I think we took a huge step that night in proving ourselves how good we truly are. 

We play our next home game this Saturday night (7pm) against l'Universite de Moncton . We are looking to add another win to our season and I think we will be able to do so if we play our best and are ready for a battle.
Team picture taken in Montreal last weekend. Seasons greetings :)