Thursday, May 22, 2014

Friday, May 16, 2014

Cierra Gaudet - Being A Female Athlete

Being a Female Athlete

For the earlier part of my childhood, being a female athlete wasn’t something I had on my mind or even cared about. I spent most of my days riding my bike, running freely in the grass and climbing trees.
Sometimes I would go on adventures with my dad and younger brother in the woods, or go on walks in the neighbourhood with my mom. I just enjoyed having fun and being outside, but I wasn’t really thinking about athleticism, fitness or training. Being a goofy kid was just fine by me.

Grade 2 was when I started understanding what being a female athlete was all about and the differences between boys and girls natural athletic abilities. I had finally befriended a group of guys to play with during recess (yay friends!) and was stoked to just, well, play. The only real thing we did was play tag, but man, it was intense! My guy friends decided to make it a spectacle and so every lunch hour a group of them would line up on this little bridge by the playground and start challenging each other to races up and down this pathway that was probably 50 metres (so 100m if you went both ways).

At first it was so exciting watching them all run full speed down the path. I would always cheer them all on and yell and scream like a wild child. However, I soon became bored from watching and I desperately wanted to join in on the fun! I remember when I first asked if I could race, the guys all seemed very skeptical. I mean, what girl would want to race a guy right? This one did. Anyways, I finally got my shot and when they yelled “go”, I was ready. I burst away from the bridge, full steam ahead, like someone had lit my butt on fire. I was flying down the path. I could feel myself breathing faster and faster and adrenaline was surging through my tiny body frame. What was even more spectacular was that I was winning! I remember looking back as I crossed the finish line first and realized I had just beaten a guy. I was grinning from ear to ear. That day marked a very important day in my life. That was the day that I realized, I could hold my own with the opposite sex.

I went on to win many more lunch time races and in the end was undefeated on the playground. It really helped me build some confidence in myself as I was really shy beforehand and now I even had won the respect of most of the guys in my elementary class. I carried that positive energy forward and made a commitment to always be the quickest of the girls and to keep up (or beat) the boys. I became VERY competitive and this is where my days of wearing frilly clothes and dresses disappeared and instead I rocked those coveralls like any proud tomboy chick would. It became a game; to be the best. If we were having relay races in gym class, I had to be first. If we were climbing ropes in gym class, I had to be first. If we were changing in the locker room, I had to finish first. If we were running laps around the school at lunch time, I wanted to run the most. I wanted everyone to know, but mostly the guys, that I meant serious business. Yes, I was a scrawny little girl on the outside, but I was a force to be reckoned with if someone tried to tease me.

I carried this mindset with me right through junior high and high school. It was a bit harder now as puberty began to set in and the guys were getting bigger and stronger. Some of them began to surpass me in certain areas, but I always tried to keep up and be a competitor. If I couldn’t beat them, I at least wanted their respect. However, I still had high expectations to be one of the best female athletes and so I began training 5-6 days a week. I began to notice that I was putting on some muscle which was a nice change. I was getting stronger and this meant that I could keep up with both sexes. If there was a pick-up game of basketball going on in the gym, I could join in and the team wouldn’t be “at a disadvantage”…that was always the goal, not to be looked at as a nuisance, but to be looked at as a threat.

For the most part, I am very happy with who I am today as a female athlete. Obviously, there comes a point when I had to realize that genetics plays a bit of a role in my ability versus my male counterpart and so I had to settle with not necessarily being the best, but being respectable. However, this also presents a problem, because as females, we shouldn’t have to “impress” anyone, especially not males  when it comes to our natural athletic ability. When I’m in the gym doing squats, I sometimes see other men glancing at the weight I have up on the bar and looking slightly puzzled, as if they are questioning my ability to perform the action. When I successfully complete the set and re-rack the bar, it feels amazing. But even if they weren’t there to witness me do that, it would still feel amazing.

My main point is simply this; I won’t judge you, so why bother judging me? I mean, we’re all athletes, of various ages and abilities; we should respect one another for reaching new accomplishments and for taking the initiative to better our health. We don’t need to put one another down; we need to build each other up. When I workout now, I always carry respect with me, whether it’s a smile, a nod or a high-five, it’s important to pass along positive vibes and not negative ones. Women have come a long way in sport and I think that’s something that should be recognized. In the end, all I want as a female is respect, from everyone.  

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Basic Softball Game Plan

It is always important for a coach to come to the diamond ahead of time and prepared. By extension, it is also important for the players to have an idea what the coach expects out of them each and every game. I have embedded a basic game plan below that goes through basic pre-game prep (e.g. dynamic stretching), concepts to help guide you throughout the game (e.g. positive encouragement and feedback), and finally the post-game which includes a debrief and cool down.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

2014 Stittsville Minor Softball Association Midget Girls Selects Team Announced

The Stittsville Minor Softball Association is proud to introduce its 2014 Midget Girls Selects Team

Welcome to the 2014 Midget Girls Selects team, and congratulations on your hard work. The coaches had an extremely difficult time choosing the team from such an excellent group of young ladies!

The coaches are happy to announce the roster which was finalized late Tuesday evening.

Jenny David
Sara Entwistle
Erika Geoffrion
Taylor Kotuba
Brooklyn McIntyre
Darian Peeling
Kylie Phanenhour
Kayla Prebinski
Sara Prebinski
Ryann Seiler
Bryanna Tisch

The girls are starting their ball season early by joining in the CCFL (Canada's Capital Women's Fastball League) - This is how the schedule looks right now (exact times and locations TBD):

May 26 vs Flyers 
June 2 vs Young Gun
June 9 vs Orleans Selects
June 16 vs Young Gunz
July 7 vs Sharks
July 14 vs Orleans Rep
July 16 vs Sharks
July 23 vs Flyers
July 28 vs Orleans Rep

July 25-27 - Can-Am Softball Shootout (Watertown)
Aug 23-24 - PWSA Provincials (Location TBD)

Now let's hope we can get on the diamonds soon!

Looking forward to a great season.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Citizen of the Capital - The Dream Catchers


Guest blogger: Lena Boyd- Head of TDC’s Photography Team


The Dream Catchers are proud to bring you ‘Citizen of the Capital,’ an on-going project geared to get the Ottawa community more engaged with one another.  Our goal with this new segment is emphasize that everyone contributes in their own way to turn a city into a community.  Whether it is your local barista, mail man, colleague or a new face, our aim is to document and capture what Ottawa has to offer through the story of our citizens.

Right from the beginning we saw the positive impact that it had, as we experienced firsthand what it was like to become more involved and a part of our community through this project.  As the Dream Catchers started to grow and gain momentum, so did our Citizen of the Capital segment.  Originally it was done by each executive member of TDC but now we are beyond excited to announce that we have a photography team of 10+ members.

Here are a few examples of profiles we have done!

We asked: “What contributes to a strong and successful community?”

“I think that respect and integrity are key.  But respect among the people of different cultures and communities contributes towards a successful community.

We asked: “Tell us about a time when someone has done something for you that you feel you can never repay them for.”

“I want to say thank-you to my dad and my mum for teaching me how to be so polite, always saying please and thank-you.  That has always taken me far in life, just small things.  Everyone should do the same and I won’t be able to repay my parents for that but hopefully I can pay it forward with other people.”  

In this day and age, as young adults, TDC members are aware of what technology can do not only for us but to us.  With smart phones and tablets many of us are plugged into this online world 24/7.  We have the ability to connect to anyone at anytime and as this may open doors for new possibilities, if not used correctly, it immediately closes the doors to community right in front of us.

Through this project TDC encourages you to unplug and to use that time to get more involved in your community. 

“How to Build Community,” by Karen Kerney


Get to know your neighbours                                      Greet people
                                    Use your library                                              Organize a block party
Leave your house                                            Sit on your stoop

Check out Ottawa’s events pages to learn more about different events going on in the city!

As head of the photography team, my job is to oversee the profiles for Citizen of the Capital.  TDC’s photography team of 10+ photographers hit the streets of Ottawa, Monday- Friday to have consistent profiles up on our website.  So, get out there and get involved.  Check out our website to see previous Citizen of the Capital posts and keep an eye out for future ones to come.  Who knows, we may be sharing your story next!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Softball Canada: Teams announced for 2014 ISF Junior Men’s World Championship

The following is a media release issued by Softball Canada.
March 21st, 2014

Teams announced for 2014 ISF Junior Men’s
World Championship

(Whitehorse, YT) – Five continents will be represented at the 2014 ISF Junior Men’s World Softball Championship in Whitehorse.

The championship will be held July 11 to 20 at the Pepsi Softball Centre, and on Thursday the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) revealed the eleven teams that will take part.

Asia, Europe, North America, South America, and Oceania all have teams participating. Argentina heads to Whitehorse as the defending champions, after winning South America's historic first-ever softball world championship at the event in 2012. They’ll be joined by host Canada, Mexico, United States and Venezuela, as representatives of the Americas.

Japan, the 2012 silver medalist, and Singapore will be in Whitehorse on behalf of Asia. Europe will be represented at the world championship by the Czech Republic and Denmark. Oceania will be represented by the 2012 bronze medalist Australia, as well as New Zealand.

"The Local Organizing Committee in Whitehorse has tremendous experience in both hosting and building a sustainable legacy for the local community through the delivery of excellent Softball World Championships, and I am confident the 2014 U-19 Junior Men's Softball World Championship will be another exciting and well-organized world stage for these dedicated young athletes to shine and proudly represent these eleven National Teams -- and their continents," said WBSC co-President, Don Porter.

Whitehorse previously hosted the 2008 Junior Men’s World Championship and 2012 Women’s World Championship.

“With just over 100 days to go until the action starts at the ballpark, it’s great to have the participating teams confirmed,” said George Arcand, Chair of the 2014 Organizing Committee. “I know the community will embrace all of these competitors and show them true northern hospitality. The countdown is on!”

For all the latest news and information on the championship, visit our official


To arrange an interview, contact:

George Arcand
Chair, Organizing Committee
2014 Junior Men’s World Softball Championship

Mental Health Awareness Week - Happy and Healthy Infographics

Take the ‘How To’ Quiz to get your family eating healthier, exercising more and living better at
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Prevention plays a critical role in providing children with the best possible opportunities to lead longer, healthier and happier lives.

Children today may be the first generation to have a shorter lifespan than their parents.