October Snapshots: A round up of local sports happenings

By Ottawa Sportspage

Virtual Ottawa Sport Summit this Fall among new initiatives for Sport Council

The Ottawa Sport Council put out a call to the local sports community to engage on five new OSC initiatives – expanding its Return to Play Roadmap, producing a Safe Sport Toolkit, forming a Sport for People with Disabilities working group, expanding its Ottawa Sport Sustainability Committee, and planning for a virtual edition of its annual Ottawa Sport Summit, which will be held this Fall on pandemic-related topics. Expressions of interest are requested by Oct. 26.

In September, the Sport Council also brought its Concussion Education Initiative video online to equip coaches, players, parents, board members, staff and volunteers with concussion management tools.

Check sportottawa.ca for more information from the Ottawa Sport Council.

BOTTERILL COMPETES ON BATTLE OF THE BLADES

Ottawa-born Jennifer Botterill is participating in the sixth season of Battle of the Blades on CBC. The former Team Canada forward is partnered with figure skater Eric Radford, and will join seven other hockey player/figure skater pairs. The winners of the skating competition receive $100,000 to be donated to a charity of their choice.

The live season premiere was pushed from October 15 to October 22 due to a member of the production crew testing positive for COVID-19.

DABROWSKI GOES TO THIRD ROUND OF FRENCH OPEN

Gabriela Dabrowski, along with her partner, Latvian Jelena Ostapenko, were eliminated in the third round of the French Open, losing 6-4, 6-4 to Aliaksandra Sasnovich and Marta Kostyuk.

In 2017, Dabrowski become the first Canadian woman to win a senior Grand Slam when she won the mixed doubles title with Rohan Bopanna.

Ottawa-raised Eli WALL JOINS TORONTO’S international swimming league team

Ottawa native Eli Wall is now a part of the Toronto Titans, one of the International Swimming League’s two expansion teams.

The ISL is now in its second season, and consists of 10 teams from across North America, Asia, and Europe. The Titans are the first Canadian-based team, and 11 of its swimmers are Canadian.

The 2020 season will be taking place inside a bubble in Budapest.

Ottawa runner shines at French track competitions

Ottawa Lions and uOttawa Gee-Gees runner Maëliss Trapeau competed in her first Continental Tour race in early September, which took place in Marseille. She came seventh in the 800m, just over 3 seconds behind first-place finisher, accomplished Scottish runner Laura Muir.

A week later, she competed in the French Championships, where she finished fourth in the 800m but second in the U23 category.

LOCAL FIELD HOCKEY BUILDER DAVE LOVELL DIES

On Sept. 16, the Nepean Nighthawks field hockey club posted that Dave Lovell, a long-time volunteer, had died. Lovell joined Indo Canada FHC in 1975, which later became the Nighthawks. He was a player, coach, umpire, and manager over the course of his time with them, and the club’s tribute describes him as “instrumental in keeping field hockey alive in Eastern Ontario.”

LONG-TIME international soccer REFeree CAROL ANNE CHÉNARD RETIRES

Soccer referee Carol Anne Chénard announced her retirement from international officiating after 15 years. She’s reffed numerous big-ticket matches, including two FIFA Women’s World Cups and two Olympics Games.

A high-level speed skater with the local Gloucester Concordes club in her youth, Chénard had intended to work at the 2019 World Cup, but was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly before.

She hoped to be healthy enough to be ready to get back into the game in time for the Tokyo Olympics, but the pandemic derailed those plans as well.

COVID-19 forces Ottawa Athletic Club to close permanently

After four decades and a half, the Ottawa Athletic Club has announced its closure as another local business is lost due to the pandemic. The decision was announced on the club’s social media, as owner Sol Shabinsky, stating that the “effects of COVID-19 have generated significant challenges” to businesses that keep people in close proximity, and that the OAC is “not immune to these challenges”.

The club offered a range of facilities and lessons in different sports, including tennis, golf, and swimming, among others. 150 people were employed by the OAC, and will now be looking for work elsewhere as more victims fall to the wrath of the pandemic.

Terry Begin selected for Curling Canada Hall of Fame

Ottawa native Terry Begin has been chosen by Curling Canada to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, a reward for the many dedicated years Begin gave to the sport having started in 1952.

Begin will be enrolled as a builder, and has been chosen primarily for his contribution to curling statistics, as it changed the way curling has been viewed by the general public and media.

“He is truly worthy of this wonderful honour and I couldn’t be happier for him,” said John Shea, who is the Chair of the Board of Governors at Curling Canada, in a press release.

On his induction, Begin said: “It has permeated every facet of my life, and provided me with fabulous friends and experiences. Receiving this recognition from the sport I love is a dream come true.”

Skate Canada cancels Grand Prix Event

In a world without a pandemic, the 2020 Skate Canada International, which was to be held in Ottawa, would have taken place Oct. 30-31. The plan was to have the event take place with no fans in attendance.

However, upon further review with the City of Ottawa the provincial government, the event was scrapped as the COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Ontario and the rest of Canada.

Set to be the first figure skating event since the pandemic began, Skate Canada CEO Debra Armstrong stated in a press release that due to the “continuous shift in requirements across the country”, the event could not go through in Ottawa.

Cross-country ski nationals remain on track, local Nakkertok club to host

One of just two planned opportunities for Canada’s best cross-country skiers to compete head-to-head this season, the 2021 Canadian championships will be returning to the national capital region come Mar. 14-20 at the Nakkertok Nordic Centre in Cantley, Que.

In a time where numerous sporting events are being cancelled due to the pandemic, Nordiq Canada has also given the go-ahead for their cross-country ski athletes to compete in FIS Cup Regional Races, which includes a Dec. 4-5 stop at Nakkertok.

U Sports Cancels All university national Championships This Season

U Sports have announced that no university level championships will take place in the 20-21 season as a result of the rising COVID-19 cases across Canada. The decision affects all sports, including hockey, swimming, and basketball, among others.

In what will be the first time since 1961, no Canadian University will be awarded a championship this season.

Ottawa Bicycle Club athlete signs with French Pro Cycling Team

Laury Milette, who hails from Gatineau, has signed with Macogep-Tornatech-Girondins de Bordeaux Cyclisme. It is a contract that will see her race in the upcoming 20-21 season.

A former member of the Ottawa Bicycle Club, Milette has only been racing for 5 years, and had finished second in the Canadian Women’s Junior National Championship.

She also won the Leaf Award at the OBC as their rider of the year. Milette also took part in the UCI Junior Road World Championships, which took place in the United Kingdom back in 2019, finishing 84th.

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