A banner year for Linden’s athletes, on and off the court

Posted by Admin on June 05, 2019 at 7:32 PM

By Deidre Macpherson, Athletics Director

It is an important and cherished Linden tradition to celebrate our athletes, teams coaches, scorekeepers, student coaches, sports fans and everyone who is involved Linden Nation at the annual Athletics Assembly.

It’s been a banner year! During Linden’s 25th Anniversary year, we have broken our previous record of winning four banners in one year to winning five Small School Athletic Federation Championship banners!

Here are just a few highlights:

We started the year with three former Linden students: Kate (Gr. 11 cohort) asked if she could come to our Ultimate practices because she missed the feeling of Linden sports. She joined us for our entire Ultimate season

Lucia (grade 10 cohort) came out to cheer our team on at the cross-country meet with her mother because it’s one of her favourite events. She and another former student, Julia, also came out to senior volleyball practices and games in the winter

We ended the year with 2016 alumnae Sarah and Luna participating in two of our senior soccer practices. It always brings me joy when people who have moved on from Linden want to come back and join us to experience our community again.

Here are some more highlights:

I enjoyed hearing the gr. 8 cross-country athletes talk about the wonders of Forbes’ coaching techniques. I believe the quote was “when Forbes cheers for us during our race it really motivates us ... but we also run faster to get away from her.”

I loved this moment from Tonja after the Dodgeball All School vs the teachers: “I don’t understand how those girls can throw the ball so hard – it’s crazy, seriously Deidre how can they do that, they are SO strong!”

It’s always a delight to hear the wonderfully creative poems written by coaches to highlight the volleyball and basketball seasons. One of my favourites lines this year was ”You will know that the sets, the volleys, the commitment and drive, made spectators, coaches and others feel alive!”

I’m so proud of how our junior ball hockey team handled adversity with uncommon dignity and maturity when a poor referee call changed the course of their tournament.

Another proud moment came when the senior dodgeball team dealt with a coach who couldn’t understand how an all girls team might want to play at an open or all boys dodgeball tournament!

I was so moved to see selfless acts of leadership at the senior soccer tournament when I yelled from the sideline to Sophie to take a crucial penalty kick. I saw her put her arms around the shoulders of a graduating athlete and said “I know you can do it, you take it”. She gave Sophia that moment of glory in her final tournament as a Linden athlete.

Most recently I am excited that so many Linden Nation athletes are so into the Raptors history-making charge to the finals! When I hear Alice used her allowance to stream a crucial game, and Nadia set up a sleepover so she can watch a pivotal game, and the excitement of those who are fortunate to attend a finals game, it shows how sport unites people and communities.

I feel strongly that our small but vibrant sports program unites us and makes us closer.

I have always loved playing or watching women’s sports, at both the recreational or professional level. This year we have seen highs and lows. A major blow to women’s sports was the collapse of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League. Since then, female hockey players from the US and further have united to stand together to create a women’s hockey league that gives players the media coverage and salaries they deserve.

Female athletes from many sports continue to fight for equal pay. This has been standard practice at Grand Slam tennis events since 2007, and we have seen progress in women’s surfing, US women’s soccer, and the US women’s hockey teams.

As a result of female athletes fighting for maternity rights, companies like Oiselle, Specialized, Brooks, Oakley & Burton are now offering maternity leave financial support that was previously unavailable. We still have a long way to go and as we wrap up this year of Linden sports, remember that we are stronger together, we develop more when we are supported and we feel confident when people believe in us.