Unsung Hometown Heroes: A New Culture for Athletes at uOttawa

Sue Hylland & Lauren Minns.
Mathieu Fleury, City of Ottawa Sports Commissioner.

With City of Ottawa Sports Commissioner Mathieu Fleury

In June of 2016, the University of Ottawa named Sue Hylland as the new Director of Sports Services.

One of her first projects was to bring about a new vision (sports model) to the University’s Sports Department. While the process of improving the sports model had already been started by her predecessor Roger Archambault in 2016, Hylland brought a new energy and a new culture of listening to/caring for the athletes.

The Gee-Gees now have 11 varsity teams, 3 varsity clubs and 19 competitive clubs. The 4 main themes of the new model are:
• Recruiting
• Leadership with full-time coaching and gender-based support  
• Athletes’ contribution
• uOttawa support

uOttawa now provides the following supports in addition to physical training for their varsity teams:
• Mental
• Academic
• Nutritional

“We’re excited to make changes in the type of support we’re giving to our teams. We are already seeing some positive results from the change. These changes will help to make us (University of Ottawa Gee-Gees) perennial national championship contenders,” said Hylland.

One of the success stories of this new sports model has been the 2018 women’s soccer team. They now have better support from the University, including a full-time coach, Steve Johnson. This led the team to win the OUA championship at Western and the Nationals hosted at uOttawa in 2018.

The new model has also led to renewed enthusiasm for hosting sporting events. We’re so proud of the accomplishments of the Gee-Gees, and this new sports model proves that with a little encouragement our athletes can really shine.

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