Category Archives: Sports

Slam Dunk for Ridley College and OSBA

The Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association (OSBA) welcomes Ridley College’s First Boys basketball team into its elite Canadian league.

After more than a decade-long run as one of most competitive basketball teams in the CISAA and following a record-breaking season ­­– winning six tournaments and three major titles ­– Ridley College’s First Boys basketball team has been formally accepted into the OSBA for the 2016/2017 season.

The OSBA is an elite league, governed by Ontario Basketball that helps prepare players for post-secondary, national and international levels of competition. The goal of the association is to increase the number of quality basketball players competing in Ontario and to promote the Train to Compete (T2C) stage of the Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model – of which Ridley was an early adopter and remains a proponent of, school-wide.

The team’s promotion means that the Ridley Tigers will not only compete against top basketball prep schools from around the Greater Toronto Area, but the athletes will also participate in at least three international showcases and host several others throughout the year. Ridley will become the first and only IB Continuum school that is a member of the OSBA, offering the gold standard in academics and athletics in Canada.

“We are excited to add an outstanding institution like Ridley College to the OSBA. We are confident that Ridley College will be able to provide student-athletes with a world-class education, as well as a high-quality basketball experience that supports their development.”

– Carmelo Mallia, Manager of High Performance at Ontario Basketball and OSBA League Commissioner.

With support from the current coaching staff, Ridley Athletics has hired Mr. Tarry Upshaw as head coach of the new OSBA team. Coach Upshaw’s dynamic career has included coaching at the professional national and international level; coaching national team programs in Hong Kong, China, Jamaica and right here in Canada. His wealth of experience in developing young athletes and his relationships in the basketball world will be invaluable as the school’s basketball programme continues to develop into one of the best in the country.

“This is a natural progression for us as an institution with the right people in place at the right time,” said Jay Tredway, Director of Athletics at Ridley College. “I am very excited about the support network we have in place for our student athletes, and adding the competitive environment of the OSBA will no doubt challenge all of us to become even better at what we do,” he added.

Read the St. Catharines Standard’s article.

Ridley College students net ice time with Ottawa Senators

The National Hockey League came to town as a special treat for our Ridleians on Friday, April 22nd.

Students belonging to our hockey programme joined Chris Neil, Cody Ceci, Kyle Turris, Mika Zibanejad, Zack Smith, Mark Stone, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, and Nick Paul, players from the Ottawa Senators, for an hour of fun on-ice sessions and scrimmages at Tiger arena.

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“This was an incredible opportunity for our students to not only meet these world-class athletes, but to also get a chance to learn from them during the practice sessions,” said Ridley’s Headmaster, Ed Kidd. “We want to thank the Ottawa Senators, Mr. Eugene Melnyk and members of the organization for visiting the school and spending valuable time with our students and players. It was truly an experience we will not forget.”

After a successful season for Ridley’s First Boys and First Girls hockey teams, the players will be eager to put to use what they learned from the NHLers next season.

Due to its incredible performance this season, the First Girls hockey team has been promoted to the Junior Women’s Hockey League  (JWHL) for upcoming 2016/2017 season. Coached by two-time Women’s World Hockey Champion, Amanda Benoit-Wark, the girls team will take on an elite level of competition in this North American league that helps prepare players for NCAA and CIS athletics.

Not to be outdone, the First Boys hockey team, coached by former European league player and Niagara resident Mike McCourt, is coming fresh off its MPHL Championship and silver medal win at the National Independent School Invitational Hockey Championship.

In addition to spending time on the ice with students, the Senators also toured the campus, visited classrooms and checked out the newly built Lower School Playscape, designed for students in JK to Grade 8.


This past fall, the all-natural playscape was integrated into the existing, mature trees on the school grounds to help promote physical literacy amongst our younger students.

“The idea behind the playscape is that our students will reach physical literacy milestones sooner, which then puts them on the path to athletic success in later years,” said Jay Tredway, Director of Athletics at Ridley College. “Unique playscapes like this have been proven to positively impact learning and academic achievement and build fundamental movement skills, promote resilience and increase creative and imaginative play. The introduction of the playscape is just one of the ways that Ridley is supporting its physical literacy goals and the Long-Term Athletic Development plan.”

The all-natural playscape, was built as part of the annual giving campaign for the 2014/2015 school year and Ridley College is currently undertaking an observational study to capture how students are demonstrating fundamental movement skills and imaginative play.

Thank you to the Ottawa Senators and Mr. Eugene Melnyk for giving our students such an incredible opportunity.


To see photos from the Senators visit, click here.

To view the video from the Senators visit, click here.

Ridley College Girls Hockey Team Accepted into JWHL


We are happy to announce that our First Girls hockey team has been accepted into the Junior Women’s Hockey League (JWHL) for the 2016/2017 season. The JWHL is a North American league that offers an elite level of competition and helps prepare its players for NCAA and CIS athletics. It is a privilege to be received into the league and a tremendous opportunity for our female hockey players to be identified and recruited by University and College programs from across the United States and Canada.

The decision by the JWHL to accept Ridley into its league was fueled by our team’s season-over-season achievements and its success at the annual JWHL tournament held in Washington, D.C. each February. Following the 2015 event, we were contacted by the commissioner about joining the JWHL for the upcoming 2015-2016 season, and after consulting with the Ridley community, Headmaster Kidd confirmed our interest. At the JWHL meetings in early 2016 (at its championship in Buffalo), the association voted unanimously to welcome Ridley into the league.


In addition to academics and the arts, athletics is one of the three pillars at Ridley and we are continually seeking opportunities to allow our students to perform at the highest level possible.

“Joining this great league is the next step on the developmental path of our now 20-year history of girls hockey at Ridley. The competitive environment that the girls will find themselves in, surrounded by a robust organization dedicated to education and helping student athletes earn a spot in post secondary sport, it is an ideal situation for any serious female hockey player and it is right here in Niagara.”

– Jay Tredway ‘96, Director of Athletics

 Elite athletics (“train to compete”) is a component of Ridley’s Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) plan and transitioning from the North American Prep Hockey Association (NAPHA), of which Ridley was a founding member, to the JWHL will now allow local female hockey players access to one of the most dynamic and successful development league structures for university and college placement in North America.

Ridley’s girl’s hockey program is currently being coached by Amanda Benoit-Wark, two-time Women’s World Hockey Champion (1999, 2000), and Celeste Doucet ‘07, an Olympic contender and national champion. Both coaches have brought invaluable expertise to the ice.

“Ridley is looking forward to moving its program to the next level and we are excited to have the opportunity to do that with the help of the JWHL! We thank Ridley for the support they have given us to make this move possible”

– Celeste Doucet ’07, Assistant Coach

Fortunately, for our parents and alumni around the world, all JWHL teams are equipped to live broadcast games from their home arenas. This means that, just as Ridley broadcasts games on TigerNET, you will be able to follow the First Girls hockey team on the road this upcoming season – and our entire school is looking forward to watching the the players flourish in the JWHL.



To read the JWHL’s official announcement, click here!

Girls volleyball team makes the most of its weekend road trip

Between January 8-10th, the U16 Girls volleyball team travelled to Kingston, Ontario for the Sydenham High School Red and Gold Invitational Tournament. This weekend marked the team’s first tournament of the year and was an opportunity for the girls to bond as a team, hit the court and learn about our provincial history

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On Friday, the team hit the road to begin its weekend. On the way to Kingston, the team made a stop in Napanee to visit the Lennox and Addington County Museum and Archives. There, the team participated in a hands-on presentation, where members learned what a career as a Museum Archivist and Curator entails. It proved to be an opportunity to not only learn about history, but to grow the students’ knowledge of all the people that make up a community. Back aboard the bus, the girls set out on the final leg of the trip.

After a full night’s rest, Saturday was game day for our Tigers. The team earned a victory against Kingston’s Holy Cross Secondary, and put forth its best efforts in matches against Kingston’s Sydenham High School and La Salle Secondary School, Napanee’s District School and Brockville’s Thousand Islands Secondary School. Tiger coaches, Ms. Kathy Anderson and Mr. Nicholas Ronald, were pleased with the Tiger’s efforts on and off the court. 

“For the majority, this was their first opportunity to experience the camaraderie of a team in a tournament setting… We are very proud of them, they were worthy representatives of Ridley.” – Mr. Nicholas Ronald, Coach

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 Saturday concluded with a tour of Fort Henry – one of Kingston’s most notorious historical sites – led by the Commander of the Fort Henry Guard. The tour was followed by a traditional 19th Century meal in the Officer’s Mess.
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Before heading home on Sunday, the team had a few more stops to make. First up was one of the finest 19th Century buildings in Canada and a nationally designated heritage site, Kingston City Hall. From there, the girls visited the Queen’s University campus for a personal tour from Coach Ronald, an alumnus of Queen’s (also the alma mater of Headmaster Kidd). In the afternoon, the team made a stop in Trenton, Ontario at the National Air Force Museum of Canada. There they participated in a fantastic interactive learning experience on Canada’s aviation history.

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The team returned home with more than just tournament experience. Ridley and its wonderful selection of faculty members are committed to offering Ridleians the most well-rounded experiences and this trip is a prime example of that.

Good luck to the girls as they prepare for their next CISAA match against Lakefield on January 20th.

Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” – Henry Ford


On your mark, get set, go! 2015 Upper School Cross Country Run

On Monday, November 9th, Upper School students (and some eager faculty members) stepped out onto the field to participate in the annual Cross Country Run. This five-kilometer race around our beautiful campus has been a Ridley tradition for over a century.

Graced with unseasonably warm weather, our Ridleians laced up their running shoes, sported their house colours and waited their turn to approach the start line. One by one, at the sound of Headmaster Kidd’s air horn, the divisions took off; making their way around the course and eventually finding their ways to the finish line at the Cricket Shed, where results were recorded.

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Midget Division Results

Congratulations to our midget division winners, Marlize Van Sittert ’19 and Jaden Kidd ’19, who took home the L.H. Harmer Trophy.

Junior Division Results

In the junior division, Shaun Donnelly ’17 came in first place for the girls and Daniel O’Rourke ’17 placed first for the boys. Both winners, like many before them, had the chance to hoist the G.F. Leigh Trophy.

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Callum Campbell, Daniel O’Rourke and Karl Neumann
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Shaun Donnelly and Ed Kidd

Senior Division Results

In the senior division, Megan Forrest ’17 claimed the Nan Cassels Steeplechase Trophy for placing first in the girls heat, while Jake Weston ’16 earned the H.C. Griffith Trophy for leading the boys pack.

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Emily MacDonald, Megan Forrest and Eunice Ng
Cameron Beaudry, Jake Weston and Connor Hill
Cameron Beaudry, Jake Weston and Connor Hill

Congratulations to this year’s overall house winners; Dean’s House and Gooderham West, with the fastest overall times.

Our school spirit was on full display, as Ridleians could be found cheering on their fellow Tigers with music and in costume.  It was an afternoon filled with school pride, camaraderie and friendly competition. Congratulations to all who participated in the run.

HomeComing 2015


This past weekend, Ridley graduates from far and wide returned to campus for HomeComing; where they had the chance to see friends, reminisce about old times, and make new memories. 


This year in particular, we celebrated classes whose years ended in 0’s and 5’s, and honoured the class of 1965 as 2015’s Golden Tigers.

Friday’s events began with the Golden Tigers luncheon with Headmaster, Ed Kidd and his wife, Hanna, followed by a tour of the new buildings on campus. Later in the evening, OR’s, Governor’s, faculty and friends gathered in school house to watch the unveiling of the 125 Donor Wall, which proudly displays the names of those who made major donations to the school during the 125th year. The Governors’ Dinner rounded out the day’s events with OR’s from 1945 all the way up to 2010 dined in the Great Hall.

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Saturday began with Alumni Rowing, where twelve OR’s took to Royal Canadian Henley Regatta to row with the current Ridley Crew. The rain did make a brief appearance, but the rowers had smiles on their faces nonetheless.

Back on campus, OR’s began to fill up the tent, tour their old houses, visit with their old teachers and enjoy their time back on the Ridley grounds. The bleachers in the Griffith Gym were filled to capacity, as the inaugural “Athletes of Distinction” presentation began. This was an opportunity for us to celebrate some of Ridley’s greatest athletes, such as Fiona Milne ‘90 (Canadian, Olympic rower) and Alexander Hayes 30’(Grey Cup Champion). Luckily, the sun came out just in time for the OR’s to enjoy some afternoon sports. 

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On the final day of HomeComing, OR’s sat down in the Memorial Chapel for the “Founder’s Day” service, followed by Prayers of Remembrance and a dedication in the memory of John Stevens, ’42. Our last item of the Weekend was an alumni soccer game.

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Thank you to all who attended and participated in another successful HomeComing weekend.

For all the photos from HomeComing weekend, check out Ridley’s official Flickr page!

“There’s nothing half so pleasant as coming home again” ­– Margaret Elizabeth Sangster



Ridley Celebrates 126 Years!


On September 16th, 2015, Ridley College celebrated it’s 126th birthday! All of our students joined together for an afternoon of games, laughs and delicious cupcakes – all to honour our beloved school.

Students donned colourful shirts that were wonderfully designed by the Cook sisters – Chloe (gr. 6) and Gabrielle (gr. 8). The Ridleians were then divided into teams, all of which rotated from station to station, competing in balance games, playing life-size Hungry, Hungry Hippo and cheering all the way to the end. To finish the festivities off, the Prefects led a school-wide pep rally in preparation for tonight’s Snake Dance. After which, teams were treated to cupcakes!

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It was a day filled with smiles, that truly showed how proud Ridleians are of our beloved school and its history.

To see all the photos from the 126th birthday celebration, click here for Ridley’s official Flickr page!

Happy birthday, Ridley!

Athletics at Ridley College by Elizabeth Gross ’14

There are lots of options when it comes to sports at Ridley.  There’s an extensive array of competitive sport options to choose from.  Annually, Ridley fields more than 45 competitive teams from under-12 softball in the Lower School to first team basketball. Some teams play in only one term of the school year while others compete or train in all three terms.


Alongside Ridley’s competitive offerings, there’s also a Sport for Life program offered in all three terms.  Students who participate in SFL programming may focus on one activity or rotate through a couple of different sports throughout the term.  In the past, SFL participants have tried activities like fitness bootcamp, field hockey, sailing, yoga, spin classes, power walking, and golf.


As a former Ridley student, I had the opportunity to try all three options – competitive sports, Sport for Life, and non-sport options.  Since grade five, I’ve played on the field hockey team at Ridley.  Once I got to Upper School, I started playing on the First (varsity) Team.  We practiced for about an hour and a half every day after school on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays with our coaches.  We had both home and away games on certain Wednesdays and Saturdays.  One of my favourite Ridley memories was the trip our team took to Victoria, BC for the CAIS Field Hockey Tournament in my grade eleven year.

Field Hockey Team in BC
Field Hockey Team in BC

In all four years of Upper School, I spent the second term participating in the winter musical.  In my grade nine year, I played Amber in Hairspray, and from grade ten to twelve, I stage managed Little Shop of Horrors, Blood Brothers, and Once Upon a Mattress.  I enjoyed performing, but I especially loved learning how to run lights and sound in the Mandeville Theatre while coordinating the other technical aspects of the show.

Ridley College Musical Production: Blood Brothers
Ridley College Musical Production: Blood Brothers

In the third term of my grade nine and ten year, I tried rowing.  Ridley has a long and proud history of involvement with the sport.  We’re lucky to have our own boathouse on Henley Island as well as an ergometer room in the Griffith Sports Complex and an indoor rowing tank offsite.  In my grade nine year, I rowed in the senior women’s four, and in my grade ten year, I rowed in the junior women’s four and eight. We spent a lot of time rowing on the water in Martindale Pond, and also did cardio and strength training as well as ergometer workouts on land.  Ridley rowing is an example of a sport that runs all three terms and may include additional practices early in the morning for athletes as they train for ergometer competitions and regattas throughout the year.


In grade eleven and twelve, I participated in the third term Sport for Life programme. The SFL season starts off with participants rotating through the different SFL options in order to help them decide which one they’d like to sign up for.  In my grade eleven year, I participated in the SFL field hockey/cardio training option and in my grade twelve year, I joined the fitness bootcamp/power walking group.

I think the most important lesson I’ve learned from my Ridley sports experience is the importance of staying active and involved in the community beyond just the classroom. Whether you already play on a competitive team or are totally new to the world of sports, Ridley has a place for you to participate, develop athletic skills and be physically active.

To learn more about Ridley athletics, please click here

First Field Hockey Travels to British Columbia!

Day One: First Field Hockey took to the skies early on Thursday morning heading out of Toronto airport – destination Victoria, BC to attend the CAIS Invitational Field Hockey tournament hosted by St. Michael’s University School and Glenlyon Norfolk School. The girls were greeted with sunshine and warm weather upon landing in Victoria and it would remain so for the duration of the trip. To mark their arrival, we ventured out into the waters from Victoria Harbour in two zodiacs and dressed in our red survival suits. We were treated to views of sea lions resting and barking at the lighthouse station and a number of humpback whales feeding off the coast. A real highlight for the girls was the sea kelp, which they pulled on board and turned into musical instruments and hand puppets. The boat ride was a thrill in itself and the squeals of delight could be heard across the bay.


Back on land we took in a little of the downtown and had a delightful dinner at Pagliacci’s (clearly a favourite with the locals) and enjoyed the opportunity to carb-load on the warm bread which quickly became ‘the usual’ at our table! It was then off to bed in preparation for our first day at University of Victoria’s fabled water turf.

Day Two: We were up early and off to UVic for our 9:00 am game. After a period of adjustment to the new surface, Ridley showed real promise and were thrilled to have the opportunity to play the game at such a great facility. We had two round robin games this day and lost our first game against the eventual tournament silver medalists, Brentwood School. The girls were led on the turf by veteran captains, Siena Vendittelli ’15 and Tamara Butera ’15.


We then won our second against The York House Tigers 1-0 with a goal scored by Emme Shaw ’18. Wingers Hannah Bradley ’17 and Emma Jenkins ’17 were strong positional players and provided fresh legs when we were in tough against this team. Clare Hearn ’17 stepped into the defense role again for the Ridley Tigers and showed great tenacity.

After a busy day on the turf, the team took to downtown Victoria to explore the city and see the sights. The girls returned to the hotel for a cozy dinner in the coaches’ suite and then went off to bed in preparation for another big day.

Day Three: This was a big day with a 5:30 wake up call and 3 games to play. The day started with a game against Southridge School where both teams battled from end to end but finished in a 0-0 draw. The d-team (defense) of Ella Foss ’16, Sarah Loleit ’16 and Ines Nannsen ’17 were instrumental in keeping the Southridge Storm at 0. After only an hour break your Tigers were back on the turf to face Glenlyon-Norfolk School. We dominated this game and posted a 2-0 score with goals scored by Arwyn Workman-Youmans ’16 and Claire Thomas ’15. Keeper Cassidy Filion ’18 earned the shutout by, not only keeping the ball out in regular play, but also stonewalling a penalty flick.


The whole team worked well together and showed more confidence in their game and in each other. This served them well when playing their third match of the day against St. Michael’s University School (SMUS). The girls had seen SMUS dominate in their previous games by posting high and unanswered scores and Ridley was determined to give them a fight. Though we ended up on the short end of a 2-0 score the girls were proud of their play. Midfielders Alana MacDonald ’15, Tayllor Smith ’15 and Morgan Mattern ’15 were key contributors with great ball skills and dogged determination.

After round-robin play, Ridley finished solidly in third place, a significant accomplishment for such a young team! In high spirits, the girls traveled to a favourite west coast hot spot, The Red Robin Gourmet Burger Restaurant, to partake in a well-earned celebratory meal. Good food, good laughs, good friends.

Day Four: We awoke to beautiful skies and achy, tired bodies as the girls prepped to leave the for the final game of the tournament against The York House School. The Ridley Tigers dominated the entire game with AnnMarie Leach ’18 and Kiana Gemmell ’18 providing much needed fresh legs at key points in the game. Despite controlling the game from start to finish and putting huge pressure on YHS we were unable to find the back of the net. This put us into a penalty shoot out. Although we ended on the short side of the shoot out the girls (and their coaches) were incredibly proud of their performance on the field. Throughout the tournament the team displayed the true meaning of unity and determination!


Tired and happy the girls bid farewell to Victoria and boarded the plane bound for home with fond memories of the west coast and their time together.

Written by Coach Scott and Coach Darby

The Henley Royal Regatta Through the Eyes of a Ridley Rower: Cosmo Steier ’14

Our Henley Royal Regatta campaign started two weeks before the start of the actual regatta, in Düsseldorf, Germany. We trained in Germany for two weeks, in an effort to get away from any potential distractions at home and to focus solely on rowing and finding as much speed as we possibly could. It was the first time in Germany for most of us, and it was a great experience for all of us. As the two weeks came to a close, everybody in our group was itching to get to England, to finally start racing against some of the best in the world.

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After a quick flight, we said hello to our home for the week: England!  The next day, Monday, we awoke eager and excited to go to the course for the first time.  It was the start of ‘Henley week’ and there was a lot of activity in and around the course as last minute preparations were underway. Big grandstands were put in place for spectators to cheer on the races, party-style tents were assembled along the bank of the river, and the grass was perfectly cut to impress all visitors to the regatta.

The days leading up to our first race were very exciting. With each practice, we became more comfortable with the course and the surroundings. The course at Henley Royal is very unique, as spectators could be as close as an arm length away at any point in the race. This is very different from what we are accustomed to back in St. Catharines where the spectators are on the shore.

Racing started on the Wednesday, but due to our success on our side of the Atlantic, we were given a bye to go directly to the second round, and would race the winner of Star Club and York City. We went to the course on Wednesday to experience Henley in full swing, and to watch how the racing occurred. The experience and atmosphere of Henley was indescribable, undoubtedly unlike any event that any of us have ever attended. There were men in fancy suits and ladies in the wildest of hats. As it turned out, Star Club beat York City by a comfortable margin, so we went to bed knowing who we were racing the next day.

The next day, Thursday, our race was slotted for 6:45pm, one of the last of the day. Before we went out to race, Coach Jason reminded us that while this is a very prestigious regatta with a very distinct atmosphere, we need not panic, he told us the water here was just like the water back home, and the oars and boat were exactly like the ones we have back in St. Catharines. He calmed us down so we could perform to the best of our abilities. As the race unfolded, ‘the big Canadian lads’ as said by the British commentators had a comfortable lead passing the halfway mark of the race. We jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. The margin of victory was determined to be ‘Easily’ (more than 5 lengths) by the officials.

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In our second race, the quarterfinals, we raced Nottingham Rowing Club. While they were smaller than us, we had to be careful not to underestimate them. After the first 5 strokes, we found ourselves down by about half a boat length. We are typically a very fast starting crew, so we were shaken up when we realized that we weren’t leading after the start. However, our crew is comprised of 4 excellent and very disciplined racers, so we didn’t let the surprising start get the better of us. Instead, we put our head down and went to work. By the halfway mark of the race, we were now leading by roughly half of a boat length, which isn’t very much. As we approached the finish of the race, Nottingham started charging at us and passed us with about 10 strokes to go. But there was no way that we were going to allow another boat to walk right through us, so we pushed right back and ended up pulling ahead and crossing the line first. Our first reaction after the race was frustration that we didn’t win by more, but then came to the realization that this wouldn’t be like the other regattas we have attended, where we’ve have boat lengths on the next fastest crew. That quarterfinal race was very difficult, so we were fortunate to have another late race (6:00pm) the following day.

Our semi-final race pitted us against The Windsor Boys School, the surprise boat of the regatta so far. While the result was not what we would’ve hoped for, our boat had the best race we could’ve asked for, and we were satisfied with that. Coach Jason and Coach Winston have always told us that the goal is to have the best you can have, and if you get beat, there is celebration in that. The Windsor Boys School was a very good crew, and rightfully earned a berth in the final.

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That was the last time that any of us would wear the ‘R’ on our chest, and we wore the orange and black unisuits with pride, after having represented Ridley on the world stage. It was an incredible year for all of us, not without its ups and down. The overall experience was definitely worth all of the time and effort that was invested in these past 10 months.

Thank you to everyone who made this trip, and year, a huge success, including our coaches Jason and Winston, our families for cheering us on and supporting us, Ridley for allowing us to represent them at an international event, the Ridley alumni, and everybody else who made a difference this year, we appreciate your support.

Row Blacks Row.

Cosmo Steier is from the Niagara Region and attended the Ridley College Lower and Upper School. He was a part of the first graduating class of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme at Ridley College. In September he will be attending the University of Pennsylvania and will be on the Men’s Heavyweight Rowing Team.