In this Issue:
- Sprinter Sam Effah on running while
- COVID-19 wins another round: No varsity
sport for 2020
- A Special SudburyROCKS!!! 10km Walk/Run
- My Self Isolation 100 Miles and More
- Global Running Day
- GIRLSrun Sudbury
- Photos This Week
- Upcoming Events
GirlsRun Virtual Event,
July 1 Apex warrior Virtual Race
Series, SudburyRocks!!! MOVED to OCT 25
- Running Room Run Club Update:
- Track North
Sprinter Sam Effah
on running while black
I am blessed to be surrounded on the start line by athletes
I can identify with, and some of my biggest advocates are
white, but the micro-aggressions and taunting never stop.
June 5, 2020
Sam Effah at 2018 Commonwealth
Games, Australia. Photo: Athletics Canada
I step out of my apartment;
the streets are empty. I rush to finish my sprints
before sunrise hits. It’s an eerie feeling,
but this is the reality of training through a pandemic.
It’s different, it’s new, and I’m
respecting social distance guidelines. I’m bundled
up from head to toe because it’s chilly in the
early morning. As people begin to populate the sidewalks,
I joke to myself, “Are they staring because
I’m out of breath from my workout? Or do they
think I could be a threat?” I’ll never
People have done double
takes on me for as long as I can remember. When you
see a black man in hooded clothing, what’s the
first thing that pops into your mind? Do you assume
he’s in sport? Do you think he’s going
for a brisk walk? Are you neutral? Or do you hold
a negative assumption? The latter is an unconscious
bias in a society predominantly dictated by white
ideals – and I hate it.
I’m not speaking
on a new issue, but this is my personal experience.
When you’re judged unfairly as a black man,
you suppress it, excuse it, develop a thick skin,
and you keep it moving.
How does one begin to
understand the rampant violence aimed at victims like
George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile and
Ahmaud Arbery? You don’t, because you can’t.
I personally identified
with Lawrence Crosby, a 25-year-old black engineering
student who was tackled and arrested in Chicago in
2015 for “stealing” his own car. We were
almost the same age. It was confusing to read the
article, and painful to witness the tapes.
He was minding his own
business, and the police racially profiled him and
took him down aggressively. He co-operated peacefully.
While the officers assaulted him, Lawrence recited
the date of purchase and the car dealership’s
address in case he ever faced a situation like this.
As a Canadian sprinter,
I have been blessed to be surrounded on the start
line by athletes I can identify with. I have a solid
group of supporters from all backgrounds, with some
of my biggest advocates being white. However, being
subjected to micro-aggressions, taunting and racial
slurs never stops. I’ve represented Canada across
the globe at three world championships, three World
University Games, two Commonwealth Games, and I am
pushing for a 2021 Olympic berth.
I love track, because
when I’m in the starting blocks, I have my own
lane and my result is directly correlated to the efforts
I’ve put forth in training. I control whether
I win a medal, I am responsible for the races I lose
and I am accountable for the injuries. Runners are
judged by quantitative measures – which don’t
discriminate. If you run the qualifying time and earn
a place on the podium, you make the team.
In contrast, off the
track I’m passionate about community development,
mentorship and marketing – and I’ve had
to prove myself more times than I can count. Why is
it so difficult, as a black man, to be viewed as more
than an athlete?
If you were to reverse
the situation, few questions are asked of white athletes,
and no one would be surprised to hear that he has
several careers on the go.
“You ran track? There’s
no way you graduated university, though.”
“Whoa! You’re so well
spoken, for a black dude!”
“I can call you nigger –
black guys rap it in songs. I don’t mean it.”
“You’re smart, but you’re
definitely the exception, no offense.”
I am a proud bachelor
of commerce graduate, and each statement hits hard.
And I work harder. I’ve made a conscious effort
to give no one a reason to utter these words. I’ve
done more than 120 speaking engagements over the last
10 years. I present to schools, corporate businesses,
senior executives, CEOs and diverse communities. I’m
a member of the Canadian Association of Urban Financial
Professionals (CAUFP), an organization that provides
a link between corporations and black communities
through innovative programs. They offer professional
development and networking, which have been game changers
in my life.
I love connecting with
people, period. I want to show others that black athletes
and black people generally are positive, contributing
members to society.
I have spent a lot of
time losing myself in this social media fever over
the last few days, and I’m overwhelmed. Not
because the situation is scary, but because it’s
finally being taken seriously. I appreciate the check-in
texts and the loads of inquiries to learn about my
culture, but I’m extremely sad to see that we
are still not having the right conversations.
This is not a black issue,
but an issue that needs to be addressed by everyone.
Unconscious bias needs to be looked at head first.
I challenge you to figure out how we can undo these
built-in mindsets and build a better society –
one where you’re judged not by the colour of
your skin but by the content of your character, like
Martin Luther King Jr. historically described.
When you log out today,
understand that retweets and reposts only go so far.
Take the time to learn why you hold negative perceptions
of black people as a default, and take action on how
you’ve developed these deep-rooted mindsets.
Be a free thinker. Approach every individual you encounter
with a clean slate.
I’m a proud Canadian
athlete, and I recognize that it’s a privilege
to learn about racism instead of experiencing it first-hand.
Effah is a two-time Canadian 100m champion, 2019 Amazing
Race Canada runner-up, RBC Olympian and Keynote Speaker,
and a member of the Commonwealth Games Canada Athlete
Council. His website is sameffah.com.
COVID-19 wins another
round: No varsity sport for 2020
Young For The Sudbury
Published on: June 8, 2020
Catherine Rocca of the
Laurentian Voyageurs women's soccer team and Sarah
Zutauen of the Carleton Ravens fight to head the ball
during OUA soccer action in Sudbury, Ont. GINO DONATO/SUDBURY
COVID-19 continues to
wrestle the athletic world to its knees after Monday’s
unsurprising announcement that fall varsity sports
at Cambrian College, College Boreal and Laurentian
University — indeed, at post-secondary schools
across Canada — have been cancelled or suspended
for the remainder of 2020.
The future of varsity
sports and recreational activities into 2021, and
two-semester sports like swimming, volleyball, badminton,
basketball, and hockey, is currently unclear.
The situation affects
hundreds of local student-athletes, including nearly
100 at Cambrian College alone and 300 at Laurentian,
as well as coaches, trainers, fans and other stakeholders.
Across Canada, more than 20,000 athletes are putting
their varsity dreams on hold.
Athletes are taught to
modify and adjust in their game or sport, says Tim
Yu, Cambrian’s athletics director. The global
pandemic and its consequences are like a hurdle to
overcome, he says.
“We can train at
home. We can find things online. We will still miss
certain aspects and we all understand that. But we
can keep ourselves mentally healthy by finding ways
to modify what we do to keep it alive in our heads,
in our minds and in our hearts until things come back
It was a disappointing
day in university sport history for Peter Hellstrom,
Laurentian’s athletic director.
It was also one spent
sending personal emails to athletes and coaches. The
athletes were provided with links to mental health
supports and asked to reach out to their coaches,
For a lot of them it’s the pinnacle of their
careers. Or they’re training to get to the Olympics
next year. In some sports, (university) is that platform.
This is one of those things where we have to really
pull up our sleeves and help our student-athletes
the best we can.”
In the college and university
systems, the contingency plans for full-year sports
like swimming, basketball, volleyball, and college
badminton are under review.
there will be some work done by the OCAA to start
coming up with more solid plans,” says Yu. “It’s
such a dynamic situation that we can only plan and
adjust as things go.”
The Ontario Colleges
Athletic Association (OCAA) governs 4,000 student-athletes
at 27 schools.
At the university level,
fall sports and championships are cancelled to the
end of 2020. For U Sports, there are 56 schools and
nearly 20,000 student-athletes affected across Canada.
The OUA reported on its website that due to the fluid
nature of COVID-19, nothing has been decided beyond
the first term.
“The health and
well-being of our student athletes, coaches, and our
stakeholders is our guiding principle in this. Information
is quite fluid on this pandemic and it’s the
right thing to do right now,” Hellstrom says.
“Until things get crystal clear,
it’s hard to plan a sports season.”
Whether actual training
can be held in the facilities is a decision that is
up to the individual institutions across the OUA,
according to a release from Laurentian University.
The building is currently closed.
athletics department is designing a return-to-train
program in consultation with medical staff and a multitude
of guidelines from an array of national and provincial
governing bodies, says Hellstrom.
As well, U Sports is
expected to make a decision this week on athlete eligibility
and athletic financial awards.
Across town at Cambrian,
the recreation facilities also remain closed. Yu says
the focus is the health and safety of students and
the safe delivery of academic programming before they
can look at extracurricular activities.
who might have a different perspective, Yu says that
it’s an unfortunate situation and that Cambrian
did include opening of sports and the fitness centre
in its reopening plan.
The college can only
move forward with what it has in terms of guidelines
and recommendations from all health governing bodies,
Some online criticism
says it’s too early to make this decision, but
Yu believes some may be looking at a sport as its
not factoring in that we are part of a larger group
and an educational institution,” he adds.
“How are we able
to move forward with an extracurricular(s) if we haven’t
gotten our primary role 100 per cent in control? We
need the time to be able to work those out. We’d
rather focus on one thing than spread ourselves too
Colleges are using the
word suspended when it comes to their sports, so that
the door is left open in case of any change and opportunities
to deliver what wasn’t possible in the fall,
unit did not immediately respond to a request for
comment. Athletic director Andrea Boyce did write
in an email that it was important to indicate that
the OCAA announcement is not a cancellation, but a
suspension, of sport.
Although the OCAA announced
the suspension of the fall season, according to its
website, winter-semester sports like volleyball and
badminton are expected to happen, but with reduced
At LU, Hellstrom says
no one ever thought they’d be administering
sports through a pandemic of this magnitude. They
did have two smaller ones in SARS and H1N1, he adds.
Like Yu, Hellstrom addresses
the disappointment athletes might be feeling.
We want to keep moving forward and provide some hope
on what January may look like,” Hellstrom says.
“Or next September. Who knows?”
Now, they look to a focus
on the training side and academics, and hope for the
return to competition, he adds.
“The health of
our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, officials,
and fans is our No. 1 priority, and after significant
consultation, we believe that OUA sport cannot be
delivered prior to Dec. 31,” said Mike DeGagne,
chair of the OUA board of directors and president
of Nipissing University, in an OUA release.
For U Sports, that means
cancelling six fall national championships, affecting
women’s field hockey and rugby, men and women’s
cross-country running, soccer, and football’s
prestigious Vanier Cup.
A Special SudburyROCKS!!! 10km
You might have noticed
that May 31st has come and gone, but while we missed
seeing you for SudburyRocks Race, Run or Walk, there
was something awesome happening just a little outside
Shauna and friends/family did a 10km
Walk/Run out at their camp to mark the day that she
would have participated in the SudburyROCKS!!! 10km
race and raised over $1,000 for the NCF! How cool
"We have some very special family
members who are battling cancer right now. We wanted
to show our support, love and strength. What a great
weekend!!!! Thanks Bill for always supporting me and
kicking my butt when I was struggling to train for
this run. Thank you to my sister for inspiring me.
Thank you to my Mommy who is 72 years young and has
still got it!!!" - Shauna
We're still looking forward to hosting
the SudburyROCKS!!! Marathon on October 25th. You
can check out all the info on www.sudburyrocksmarathon.com
My Self Isolation 100
Miles and More
Words by Donna Smrek
it doesn’t challenge you it doesn’t change
you’ … well my friend, prepare for change.
On June 13 & 14, 2020, my friend and fellow runner,
Schweyer (Liz), is challenging
herself to run 100 miles in 30 hours. WHY?? because
she’s crazy LOL, no seriously, WHY would anyone
run 100 miles on their own?
all know our beloved running events, along with so
many others, have been postponed, deferred, cancelled
etc., due to Covid-19. Many of us are searching for
our reasons to continue to train and push ourselves
to stay committed. Liz found her reasons all around
her; e-mails postponing her planned running events,
2 young daughters at home trying to reach goals on
a new virtual school program and a position as an
event planner when all events are to be cancelled.
All the signs indicated ‘stop’, your plans
need to slow down however Liz took a different approach,
she looked in the mirror, gave a little wink and said
‘stand 6 feet back, here I come’.
She’d run 25 km, 50 km and 100 km and felt that
‘100 miles was the next logical step’.
Logical to some perhaps, to others I refer back to
the first paragraph:)
Liz knew she wanted to challenge herself and at the
same time show her daughters that setting a goal,
even if there are obstacles along the way, can be
very satisfying and help you grow. She had signed
up for the Mad Trapper Backyard Ultra, with a 100-mile
goal, well instead of folding she decided to do it
in her own back yard. Once that idea was sparked,
she realized she could also challenge her community
at the same time. Her work as an event planner with
NCF, Northern Cancer Foundation, was also fluttering
in the covid wind. She realized she had a ‘win,
win, win’ situation she could tap into. My Self
Isolation 100 Miles and More was a go!! ‘I’ll
work toward my goal, show my daughters how adjusting
to obstacles along the path to your goal is possible
and set up a fundraiser where no one has to physically
Throughout this Covid-19 crisis, cancer has not self-isolated,
it continues to impact and ravage the lives of individuals
and their families. The NCF provides financial assistance,
along with all their medical support, to individuals
deep in the fight for their lives. As an organization
relying on fundraising for support, their revenue
flow is being strangled due to social restrictions.
There is a community of runners offering to support
Liz along her journey, do a ‘loop with Liz’
to help ward off the mental games, the wild imagination
that is set free on dark trails at night and to cheer
her on as a motivator or the motivated. We will run
with her, each contributing support from an appropriate
distance, as she runs steady. We will tag team for
steps, bring soup and coffee for sustenance and celebrate
the miles along the way.
I invite you to join Liz in her effort to show that
one person can make a difference. We won’t all
run on the day and we aren’t all in a position
to share our funds at this time. However, if you are
able and willing, please follow the link to Liz’s
FB event, send messages to cheer her on and support
the fundraiser with whatever you can.
If it doesn’t challenge us, it won’t change
us. Let’s join together, virtually, and embrace
"My Self Isolation 100 and More"
Photos This Week
Keegan and Donna on the trails
Amber in the mud
Darren and Anne hiking on Loach's
Liz at Laurentian
Wanda and Catherine on Laurentian
Lise and friends at Laurentian lake
Steph and Barry near Wanup
Laura finishes virtual GIRLSrun
Eva on Walden trails
Lilac season by Greg Koett
Lily Pads at Laurentian by Ania
Upcoming Local Events
Given the current situation related
to COVID-19, the SudburyROCKS!!! Marathon organizing
committee has decided to postpone our race.
The new date for the 2020 SudburyROCKS!!! Marathon
will be Sunday, October 25th.
We know this news may be disappointing to you
and for that we are very sorry, however we recognize
this is the right thing to do at this time.
We are still encouraging participants and the
public to register for the 2020 SudburyROCKS!!!
Marathon and to support our beneficiary the
Northern Cancer Foundation by collecting pledges.
Thank you for your patience and understanding
during this time.
If you have any questions please feel free to
connect with Elizabeth Taillefer at the Northern
Cancer Foundation by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
or by calling 705.523.4673.
The organizing committee will continue to monitor
the COVID-19 situation and keep our participants
and friends up to date.
Please take care and stay healthy.
Good afternoon Sudbury Runners and Walkers,
We have FREE run club
Wednesday nights at 6pm and Sunday mornings at 8:30am.
North News - by Dick
Dick Moss, Head Coach
Laurentian XC/Track Team
c/o Coach Moss <email@example.com>
information call me.
sponsor of the Sudbury Rocks!!! Race-Run-Walk for the Health of it
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