Written by Michael Sun
Photo by Ottawa Sport Awards
OTTAWA, Ontario – Numerous Carleton Ravens teams were honoured at the 2018 Ottawa Sports Awards at Algonquin College on January 30th.
The Ravens women’s basketball team won Ottawa’s Female Team of the Year Award. The men’s basketball team was honoured for their Ontario University Athletics Championship.
Meanwhile, the synchronized swimming trio of Elise Bordeleau, Elizabeth Cross and Mackenzie Lafreniere were there to collect their award as they were honoured as Eastern Canada Divisional Champions.
The Ravens women’s cross country-country ski team was also honoured as Ontario and Canadian University national champions but weren’t present to collect the award.
Troy Reid-Knight and Biniam Ghebrekidan collected the awards for the men’s basketball team.
“It was a good event for my first time coming here,” Reid-Knight said. “Got to see a lot of great people that give back to Ottawa and amateur sports and it just shows how close the community is, especially people who have been doing the same thing for years and years and it shows the amount of time they put in.”
Reid-Knight said that everyone was new to him at the event, having arrived at Carleton from the University of Maine in 2017.
“It kind of puts it in perspective that you put a lot of time into something, one thing, you can be really great at it and all these people are examples of that,” he said of the award winners.
Catherine Traer and Stephanie Carr were on hand to collect the women’s basketball’s Female Team of the Year awards.
“It’s a huge honour,” Traer said. “Ottawa, as we’ve seen tonight is such a strong sporting community. They support it and we just have every single sport. We have great great athletes here in Ottawa.”
It’s the first the women’s basketball team has won the Female Team of the Year award.
“I was telling Steph I remember last year, the team that won was the Rachel Homan curling team,” Traer recalled. “It’s really cool to be up there with them this year. It really proves that what we did was really meaningful and hopefully it inspires the younger generation.”
Carr said It’s “crazy” to be in the same category as Olympic athletes but it was nice to be recognized for their season. The Ravens won their second-ever Critelli Cup and first-ever national championship in 2018.
Carr and Traer said these awards are extra special for them being from the Ottawa area. Carr is from Sttitsville while Traer is from Chelsea, Que.
“It’s neat for both of us because we grew up in the same city we went to school in so this award – I don’t want to speak on other girls’ behalf – but I feel it means a bit more to us because we grew up here and we spent all our childhood growing our passion for this sport in this city and we got to finish it off,” Carr said.
Traer said the awards mean a lot to her having heard of these awards growing up. She won the basketball player of the year award previously and expressed her excitement for this year’s winner Merissah Russell from Capital Courts. They played together in Canada’s Commonwealth Games team in 2018.
“I think it’s so great Merissah was able to win it this year,” Traer said. “She represents the future of basketball probably for that generation and it’s amazing what she’ll do in the future. I can’t wait to watch her play. She’s a great person and so mature at such a young age.”
As for Traer and Carr, the awards are a reminder of the end of their university playing careers and the start of a new chapter in their lives.
“When basketball ended, I had no idea who I was,” Carr said. “It took a lot of time, I mean I still don’t really know…finding out different passions and different hobbies is hard and it takes time but I feel like I’m slowly getting there.”
“It’s different,” Traer said. “Basketball will always be very close with my heart but I’ve done so many things since then, especially at my work, I’m so happy. I’m exactly where I wanted to be and I never thought at 24, I would be where I am.”
“I probably wouldn’t be here without the experiences I had in basketball because it really kept me on track and I think things happen for a reason,” she added. “It’s been amazing…but we’ll miss it forever.”