Dal Tigers shine spotlight on successful alumnae
Katya Sodamin - December 6, 2012
On Wednesday, more than 200 people of all ages came together for the annual Women in Leadership Spotlight Dinner. A fundraising event for the Tigers women’s basketball and volleyball teams, attendees included youth athletes, Dalhousie alumni, Tigers supporters and university staff.
Vice President Student Services Bonnie Neuman welcomed guests, starting the evening with an address to the student-athletes. “You are leaders on our campus and we are very proud of your accomplishments,” she said. “We demand a lot of you. You have to work hard academically and in your sport. Being an athlete takes an incredible amount of time. You are ambassadors for Dalhousie and the pride you take with you to other communities makes a difference for our school.”
Both teams are going into the holiday break after exceptional performances on the court this fall. Women’s basketball sits in a tie with StFX for second place, while women’s volleyball leads the AUS and is also ranked fifth overall in the CIS.
Beyond athletics both squads are active in the community, supporting a number of organizations including the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Operation Christmas Child, and the IWK Health Centre. A highlight for the women’s volleyball team this fall was raising over $2,500 for the Light the Night initiative.
After dinner Tigers basketball alumna Trish MacCormack shared the story of her journey to becoming an RCMP Inspector in Cole Harbour, N.S. She said that returning to the Student Union Building for the event was special as she had applied to the RCMP in the lobby some 23 years ago. The path to her present position was not easy, as she spent a number of years in British Columbia and two in northern Newfoundland before receiving the call that returned her to Nova Scotia.
“If you really want to grow as a person,” she told the audience, “then step outside your comfort zone and you will achieve success.” MacCormack attributes much of her professional accomplishments to her time at Dalhousie. “I’m thrilled to give back to the program that has had a lot to do with my success. Hard work and perseverance make a difference and those are things I learned at Dal.”
Three-time Olympian and four-time Nova Scotia Female Athlete of the Year, kayaker Karen Furneaux, also entertained the crowd with words of wisdom and stories of her success. She said, “my motto is to dream big. I have an acronym for dream: determination, role models, expectations, attitude, momentum. This is the motto I’ve lived my sport and professional career by.”
In 2010, Furneaux founded a hands-on, health and wellness company, I Promise Performance, Inc., which focuses on discovering the ideal well-being for individuals, companies and teams.
A Dalhousie Kinesiology graduate, Furneaux never competed as a Dalhousie Tiger, but she said she always considered herself one. “There’s a ferocity that we embrace as Dalhousie students. It’s a spirit that is very special to this university.”
Tigers head coaches Anna Stammberger and Rick Scott, the organizers of the event, couldn't be more pleased with how the event went this year.
“It is always such a fun evening, bringing the Tigers together with the community to celebrate the dedicated work of our student-athletes on the courts, in the classroom and in the community,” said Stammberger. “It is a motivating and inspiring event,” added Scott. “It builds confidence in the girls and helps them strive to be successful leaders.”
With the first half of the regular season concluded, the Tigers student-athletes are now focused on their exams before enjoying a short break and returning to regular season play and their quest for the AUS title in January.