Canada, Fredericton, New Brunswick, News, Refugees, Saint Mary's University, Sports, St. Thomas University, Students

The Canadian way: SMU uses hockey to welcome refugees

Saint Mary’s University invited 60 Syrian newcomers to the Huskies’ first game at CIS Nationals to give them an authentic Canadian experience and make it “feel like home,” said vice president of student affairs Ossama Nasrallah.

“These refugees will soon become Canadians and stay in Canada,” Nasrallah said. “Refugees are thinking of the future here in Canada and how they will get used to the Canadian culture.”

Nasrallah said it’s important for Canadians to welcome the refugees and that these kind of events also build good student leadership skills for those who care about others and want to make a change in the world.

“A smile from a kid to those students means the world to them and makes them feel they can do better,” said Nasrallah.

St. Thomas’ athletics department could not be reached for comment on possible plans to do anything similar for the Syrian refugees, but men’s hockey team member Dillon Donnelley said it would be a great idea.

“[Hockey]’s our national sport, so in a way it gives the refugees a look at a part of our history and culture,” he said.  “I think it’s a good thing to do for sure.”

Nasrallah said SMU has no other plans to do anything else like this right now, but hopes that a football game could be used for something similar. He also hopes these kinds of events can help Syrian parents feel comfortable about their children’s future when they see the university in action.

“Sports really play a big role in getting people together, especially when you get people to a new game and teach them,” Nasrallah said. “This makes them feel really welcome and the atmosphere in the game makes them feel excited and happy.”

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Aquinian, Fredericton, New Brunswick, News, Sports

New roller derby team The Spitfires roll into ring

Fredericton’s Capital City Rollers roller derby league has announced its newest team, the Spitfires, who will kick off their first season May. 28 at the Willie O’Ree Place.

Rachel Harvey, the league’s communications coordinator and player on all three teams, said the Spitfires was created to blend all skill levels in the league.

“There are a lot of different levels of play,” Harvey said. “We wanted to form a team that would allow us to be able play both A teams and B teams.”

Until now, the Capital City Rollers’ 35-member league has only had two teams: the Daisy Cutters, the higher-level A team, and the Bazooka Janes, the lower-level B team.

Full story here.

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Aquinian, Canada, Fredericton, New Brunswick, News, Profile, Sports, St. Thomas University, Students

Athlete of the month looks forward to playoffs

Kelty Apperson said it’s a special feeling to be named St. Thomas University Coastal Graphics Athlete of the Month for January.

“It’s always nice to be recognized for the hard work,” she said. “But I only received this award due to my team. They are always pushing me to be improving, so their support has allowed me to find success on the ice.”

Apperson, a fourth-year student and captain of the women’s hockey team is second in the Atlantic University Sport scoring race with 22 points.

Full story here.

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Aquinian, Canada, News, Sports, St. Thomas University, Students

Track and field team prepares for Montreal

St. Thomas’ track and field team is headed to Montreal Jan. 29-30 for the annual McGill Team Challenge.

The regular indoor track meet will see a variety of events in the heptathlon and pentathlon categories, such as different-length runs and hurdles, pole vaults, relays and high jumps. Because it is an indoor meet, throw events will be restricted to weight throw and shot put.

But with pressure coming down on the team, each athlete from the men and woman’s team is finding their own way to cope with the stress and are looking to beat their personal bests.

Full story here.

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Aquinian, Fredericton, New Brunswick, News, Profile, Sports, St. Thomas University, Students

Provincial and STU records broken

Two Tommies got-off to a record-breaking start this season at the 2015 Gagetown Indoor Track and Field Meet Nov. 28.

Jonathon Gionet broke the New Brunswick shot put record with a 14.86 meter throw, while Sarah Hickman broke St. Thomas University’s record in the 60 and 200 meters race.

Gionet, a fourth-year student from Bathurst beat the 21-year-old former record of 14.85 meters. This was also a personal-best performance for Gionet that earned him the 2015 Atlantic University Sport title.

Full story here.

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Aquinian, Canada, Fredericton, New Brunswick, News, Profile, Sports, St. Thomas University, Students

Lauren Henman named athlete of the month

Lauren Henman said that it’s a huge honour for her to have been chosen as October’s Coors Light Athlete of the Month.

“I owe all of my success so far this season to my team and coaches,” she said. “I’m just really happy we’re doing so well this year.”

In October, Henman averaged one point per game with four goals and one assist in five regular season games. She is leading the team in scoring and is second in the conference with seven points.

Full story here.

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Aquinian, Fredericton, News, Profile, Sports, St. Thomas University

Coach of the year at STU

Meghan MacAfee was voted by her peers as Coach of the Year at the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association women’s rugby banquet.

“I was really happy to get (the award) because it was voted by the other coaches in our league which was really, really, kind and generous of them,” MacAfee said. “We hear a lot from the teams we play that we play hard rugby, they always know it’s going to be a good game… When it comes down to it, from the start of the game, I’m on the sidelines. It’s the girls who really made that impression.”

MacAfee, who has been head coach of the St. Thomas University’s women’s rugby team for the last two years, successfully lead the women Tommies to an ACAA silver-medal finish both years. Despite the loss, the team went to this year’s championship game in first place, being undefeated before losing to the UNB Varsity Reds.

Full story here.

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Aquinian, Canada, Fredericton, New Brunswick, News, Sports, St. Thomas University, Students, University of New Brunswick

STU loses battle of the hill

The University of New Brunswick Reds beat previous undefeated St. Thomas University Tommies 14-5 during the ACAA Women’s Rugby Championship at the Scotia Bank Park Field on Nov. 1.

STU’s head coach Meghan McAfee said that she believes the game ended the way it did because the Tommies didn’t adjust to what UNB was doing.

Full story here.

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Canada, Fredericton, National Ringette League, New Brunswick, News, Sports

Aitken Centre hosts National Ringette League’s largest season opener

The Aitken University Centre acted as home ice for the Atlantic Attack on Oct. 3 as they took on Rive Sud Revolution for the National Ringette League’s largest season opener in history.

A crowd of approximately 600 people watched the Maritime girls beat Quebec’s team 9-2 at the A.U.C., a space with a capacity three times the size of any NRL previously seen.

The game started the league’s twelfth season of ringette, one that will see 15 teams from across the country battle it out for the NRL championship title.

General manager Hélène Beaulieu said it was a great honour for the Attack to host the season opener, especially after only being in the league for four years.

“We believe we were chosen because we have great support from our community and have a large fan base,” she said. “We also believe we have a great team that inspires young girls to achieve success.”

The game was free of charge thanks to the NRL’s partnership with the Dairy Farmers of Canada’s Fuelling Women Champions initiative, a program that supports women and girls reach their goals through sports.

“[Canada’s Dairy Farmers] were looking for a high profile event in Atlantic Canada,” said Frances Losier, the NRL’s high performance and events director. “Fredericton was identified as a key market for this event.”

In light of the win on Saturday, Beaulieu says those who watch the Atlantic Attack this year will be amazed.

“The most important message I want to share is that our team players have heart, courage and work hard,” she said. “We are very, very proud of them.”

Originally written for a class at St. Thomas University.

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