Celebration at Colour Awards

Sailing takes home award for top performing club

Lily Jiang accepts the Marion Ross Trophy.
Lily Jiang accepts the Marion Ross Trophy.
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On Tuesday night, the red carpet was rolled out for Queen’s Varsity Club athletes as they celebrated the 81st Colour Awards in a Tricolour-themed ARC.

The night commemorated the year’s standout performances from rookie athletes to the best varsity athletes of the season. The ceremony also rewarded the top performing club with the Award of Merit trophy for excellence, and while the awards were given to only a select group of athletes, the night was largely used to recognize all the blood, sweat and tears put in throughout the year. 

Award of Merit for Top Team: Sailing

Every year, the Award of Merit Trophy is presented to the most successful varsity club team. This year, the Queen’s sailing team was given the honour of accepting the award after a season that saw them not only represent Queen’s, but win gold at the Student Yachting World Cup. 

“I think we’re all really proud.We’ve been working on this for three, four years and getting the recognition we deserve is a great feeling. I’m really proud of our team,” fourth-year Simone Larose said.

It was a year of monumental successes, as the team also won the Canadian Intercollegiate Sailing title, giving them the opportunity to compete at the World Cup.

While it’s the end of the road for many members of the team with Queen’s, they don’t expect their careers to finish here.

“Sailing is a thing you’re going to do for the rest of your life. We’re never going to stop sailing, it’s our passion,” said Larose. 

Marion Ross Trophy for Top Female Athlete: Lily Jiang — Fencing 

Soon-to-be graduate Lily Jiang now joins a former teammate with being awarded this distinct honour. Queen’s graduate Anna Rogers won the award in Jiang’s first year.

“For me it’s a true honour because these people have exemplified sportsmanship and leadership to me so just the fact that I was following in their footsteps means a lot,” Jiang said.  

Jiang’s graduation marks an incredible four years at Queen’s. She played a significant role in two OUA golds for the fencing team and two third-place finishes, throughout her exemplary sportswomanship was always just as impressive as her skill. 

The four-time OUA All-Star leaves Queen’s with memories that’ll stay with her for the rest of her life. 

“I think the most important [tournament] was OUAs and especially my last one because I don’t even know where I’m going from here,” said Jiang. “I’ve been fencing since I was 12 and the last OUA I knew that that may very well be my last competition ever so the last hit that got me that gold in individual events, that was kind of [the] highest point.” 

Jack Jarvis Trophy for Top Male Athlete: Ian Pinchin — Men’s Water Polo

Ian Pinchin was a critical member of the water polo team this year, a major player in making the team a true contender and leading the Gaels to an OUA bronze. 

As the captain, Pinchin was an influential voice on the team and led Queen’s offence with high spirits and a determined mentality.

The 6’4” academic All-Star is currently on exchange in Australia completing a Master’s program and wasn’t available for comment after the awards ceremony, however he accepted the honour over video. Pinchin’s happiness couldn’t have been more evident, as his smile couldn’t be erased for the duration of the video. 

The trails Pinchin has blazed for the Queen’s water polo program will be remembered for many years as the team will try to improve on the past season’s results in their quest for OUA supremacy. 

Alfie Pierce Trophy for Top Female Rookie: Jenna Dhanani — Squash 

It was another banner year for the women’s squash team, and the team owes much of their success to one of their newest members, Jenna Dhanani.  

For a third consecutive season, the squash team reigned victorious at the OUA championship. Dhanani joined a squash program that’s proving to be one of the strongest in the province, and its reputation seems to only continue to grow.

“It’s been an amazing season with the team, I got to play in a lot of tournaments but the nice thing about our team is that we get the most competition from each other and really get to help build each other up…it’s really a group effort,” said Dhanani. 

As Dhanani moves into her second season with the Gaels, it’s likely that she’ll fill the role of some of the leaders of the team graduating this year. 

Alfie Pierce Trophy for Top Male Rookie: Ryan Jonker — Mountain Biking

Ryan Jonker made his presence on the mountain biking team felt from the first day of training, as he provided Queen’s with some of their strongest performances this season.

For the seventh season in a row, the team captured the University Cup. Jonker was critical in the effort, as he finished fourth overall. Throughout the season, he proved himself to be a dependable competitor with five top-five finishes.

“It’s awesome to get the award. We had a great team this year…we had a great mountain bike season,” said Jonker. “Next season we’re going to train hard and aim for first.”

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