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Stingers step up

by Archives October 7, 2008

“Cancer is something that touches so many people,” said third-year Concordia Stingers women’s hockey forward Donna Ringrose. “On our team, everybody has their own lives and they could know five people affected by cancer or none,” she said.
That reasoning is part of what made the decision so easy when Ringrose was approached this summer to take part in Step Up for The Cure, a cancer fundraiser held last Saturday at McGill’s Molson Stadium.
Originally contacted by this summer to organize a group because she worked at Le Gym on Concordia’s downtown campus, she realized she already had a group. That’s when Ringrose approached Concordia director of athletics Katie Sheahan, women’s hockey coach Les Lawton and her team about taking part in the event.
They all gave a resounding yes.
“It’s important that our team does things like this, gets out in the community and gives back,” said Lawton.
Step Up for The Cure’s goal is to run one step for each of the 11 million people who will be diagnosed with cancer worldwide in 2008.
People can enter the event as individuals or as a team, and must commit to raise $240 and run 15 flights of stairs either individually or as a team every hour.
The Stingers were at the event for two hours on Saturday afternoon. They each did 15 flights of stairs both hours they were there.
“We were essentially moral support to the most dedicated people there,” said Stingers defenceman Alynn Doiron. “We tried to do as much as we could.”
Both Ringrose and Lawton think Concordia should have more of a presence when it comes to events in the community and charitable foundations. Don’t expect word of the events to come directly from Sheahan.
“It’s not a cookie cutter approach,” she said. “I don’t lock the teams into a program, but I ask every team at the beginning of each year what the students come up with themselves that they might want to engage in.”
“When you do volunteer work, you want it to be an experience to add meaning, which makes it better when it is a student-led initiative,” Sheahan said. “In this specific case, the women’s hockey team seem extremely interested in pursuing it and when that kind of commitment is in place, then certainly I want to facilitate it.”
Ringrose and the Stingers have also shown interest in the Right to Play program, a charity which promotes the growth of sport and allows people to play it despite a lack of funds, education and targets those most marginialized.
“Every female athlete dreams of being on a university team,” Ringrose said. “Now that we’re here we may take it for granted.”
“I don’t think our athletes realize how lucky they are to be in a situation where they could play a sport that they love,” Lawton said. “I think it’s important that we try to give back to the community. It’s something that is very rewarding for the players and certainly puts us in the spotlight,” he said.
They also realize that they have a spot in the community as role models.
“I think we’re not aware of that enough,” she said. “We’re at the top of our sport. There is really us and then it’s the friggin’ Olympics,” Ringrose said.
“We should realize it more that everyone, is watching us.”

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