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NEWS: Major Award Nominees Announced for Competitive Sport Clubs

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March 26 was the scheduled date for the annual Competitive Sport Clubs banquet where uOttawa's 19 club teams gather annually to celebrate the season and recognize the outstanding accomplishments of teams and individuals.

This season, these awards will be presented online only as the University has taken measures to follow municipal, provincial, and federal guidelines surrounding the spread of COVID-19. 

This does not diminish the accomplishments of our student-athletes, and reminds us to celebrate of our shared love of sport despite our distance from each other.

The Gee-Gees are proud to introduce the nominees for the major awards for the Competitive Sport Clubs for 2019-2020, each in alphabetical order within their categories. Winners will be announced on April 9, in addition to the winner of the True Sport Award, and the team MVPs.

The Gee-Gees would like to thank all those who took time to nominate student-athletes and coaches for this year's awards. The sport community at uOttawa reflected in all nominees and winners is thriving due to the efforts and passion of so many.


Athlete of the Year:

On the men's side there are three nominees: Ethan Nodwell (baseball), Raphaël Siegel (water polo), and Mathieu Sylvain (soccer).

Ethan Nodwell was the Gee-Gees leader in slugging, OPS, hits, RBIs, and walks this season and was a key defensive player as well, often coming up big in key moments. 

Raphaël Siegel is a team captain with goal-scoring ability who drives confidence in his teammates with his intelligent play. Outside of the Garnet and Grey, Siegel plays with Ottawa United's undefeated high-level competitive team. 

Mathieu Sylvain was named the league's most valuable midfielder and is an important leader for the Garnet and Grey.

For the women's teams, four individuals were selected as the top nominees: Camille Dubé (fastball), Tara Hristov (water polo), Naomi Moindrot-Zilliox (fencing), and Zoë Pekos (nordic).

Camille Dubé is a pitcher and centrefielder who led the Gee-Gees in all major offensive categories and won the league's Top Hitter award. She also made zero fielding errors and had two complete games to earn pitching wins in the playoffs and is a two-time league all-star. 

Tara Hristov is a versatile player who starts at driver who is adept both offensively and defensively. She has helped lead uOttawa to back-to-back championship games and is graduating from Law school this year. 

Naomi Moindrot-Zilliox captured the OUA individual gold medal in Foil by going 15-0 at the championships, also leading the Gee-Gees to team gold in the foil. She has also won silver at the 2019 CFF National Championships in senior women's foil and two golds at the Quebec senior level. 

Zoë Pekos is a member of the Canadian National U24 Biathlon team and was set to represent Canada at the World U23 Nordic Ski Championships before an injury derailed her season.


Award of Merit – Outstanding combination of Academics and Athletics: 

An exemplary class of nominees on the women's side was narrowed down to: Talia Cameron (artistic swimming), Kaitlyn Flear (fastball), Taylor McRae (equestrian), and Jesse Weaver (cheerleading). On the men's side there was one nominee who will be revealed as the winner on April 9.

Talia Cameron is a fourth-year student in philosophy and will be pursuing a Master's degree next year. She is the VP of finance for the Undergraduate Philosophy Student Association and a volunteer swim coach with Special Olympics Ontario. In the pool, she made the jump from the novice to experienced solo category after just three years in the sport, and helped the Gee-Gees novice team win a silver at nationals. 

Kaitlyn Flear was the 2018-19 Clubs Athlete of the Year and had another outstanding season this year. Batting .370 with 8 stolen bases, Flear can play outfield or the middle infield and is an assistant coach with the Napanee Express midget softball team. Academically, Flear has been invited to present her research at the Canadian Society of Zoology conference and is an author on an abstract submitted for the 10th International Congress of Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry.

Taylor McRae completing her joint honours in political science and philosophy, Taylor will be undertaking a Masters in Political Science studying neuroscience and politics. This semester she has been working as a research assistant on a project that seeks to understand how the indigenous populations of Canada are represented in sociology courses in university classrooms. She also works with the Faculty of Arts Mentoring Centre and was recently awarded the CIBC Mentorship Award for her excellence in mentoring. McRae was on track to finish top three in her competitive division based on her strong performances in the flat class.

Jesse Weaver has quickly become one of the star tumblers on the cheerleading team. Before joining the team this year, Jesse was a very successful competitive level 9 gymnast who had many accomplishments, such as being a member of Team Ontario for the Eastern Canadian Championships. In her first year at uOttawa, Weaver will be an Academic All-Canadian in her nursing program.


Gee-Gees Leadership and Initiative Award: 

This is a new award this year, created to recognize those who stand out as leaders within their club in terms of team management and administration, as well as their overall contribution to the student-experience of competitive sports clubs student-athletes. The nominees for this inaugural award are: Yacine Amalou (volleyball), Taylor McRae (equestrian), Nailah Taylor (cheerleading), and Brenna Winter (artistic swimming).

Yacine Amalou was president of the student-athlete council for 2019-20, working to better student-athlete life at uOttawa. His dedication, enthusiasm and insight have been extremely inspiring to all members of the men's volleyball program and other club sports. Within the volleyball club, Yacine is very involved in organizing fundraising activities, social gatherings, tournaments, and practices.

Taylor McRae is nominated here for her outstanding administrative work on behalf of the equestrian team. A two-year captain and team president, McRae also serves as Vice-President of the Ontario Collegiate Equestrian Association and has been voted President for 2020-21. On event days, she coordinates with horse donors and sponsors to put on the best home competition possible, works with warm up riders and the governing organization to ensure that competitions are run safely and smoothly, connects with athletes and coaches from other schools to ensure the best day for everyone involved.

Nailah Taylor is the cheerleading team director and coach. From doing administrative work, planning practices, choreography, creating itineraries, designing clothing and uniforms, and organizing competitions and gamedays, Nailah does it all. She is an amazing coach and also provides an amazing support system for all of the present and past team members. She pushes boundaries within the sport and pushes her athletes to be the best versions of themselves in and out of cheer.

Brenna Winter is a volunteer coach, and works with the artistic swimming novice team every Sunday evening, expertly choreographing routines within the sometimes confusing novice requirements and providing us with invaluable feedback to help the team members improve their skills. She is a key factor in the success of the novice program through her hard work and dedication to the sport and to our club.