More Sports – The Cord https://thecord.ca The tie that binds Wilfrid Laurier University since 1926 Mon, 19 Nov 2018 23:06:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://thecord.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/logofavicon-32x32.png More Sports – The Cord https://thecord.ca 32 32 42727683 Golden Hawks rugby take home OUA bronze for first medal in team history https://thecord.ca/mens-rugby-bronze-medal-game/ https://thecord.ca/mens-rugby-bronze-medal-game/#respond Wed, 14 Nov 2018 11:59:33 +0000 https://thecord.ca/?p=52624

Photo by garrison Oosterhof

The Wilfrid Laurier men’s rugby team captured their first medal in team history on Saturday, Nov. 10, with a thrilling 17-6 win over the Waterloo Warriors. 

After their loss in the bronze medal game last year, the Hawks had a lot to prove on Saturday. Add in the fact that this game was the biggest ‘Battle of Waterloo’ so far this year, there was more incentive than ever for Laurier to put up a good performance. 

The game got off to a shaky start for the purple and gold, as the Warriors jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first half.

The Warriors were led by 2018 OUA MVP Mitch Voralek, who scored all six of the points for Waterloo through two penalties.

This was unfamiliar territory for Laurier as they had not been in many situation where they have had to come from behind. For the most part, the Hawks had dominated their opposition throughout the season, from start to finish.

But the Hawks shut down Waterloo’s offence in the second half, not allowing a single point. The Hawks tied the game at six with a huge try from Aidan Nesbitt. 

Laurier then took the lead with 10 minutes left to play through 2017 OUA MVP, Andrew Quattrin. 

The fifth year veteran then capped off what was his last game for the Hawks with another try to give the victory to Laurier.

Quattrin’s presence will be missed and he showed just how valuable he is to the Hawks in his final game.

Another big part of the Hawks’ second half comeback was their home field advantage. 

The crowd were right behind the team throughout the game, and they raised the noise to another level when the Hawks finally got on the board. 

The Hawks made history in 2017 by winning their first playoff game in modern team history, and this year they raised their game to another level by winning their first medal ever.

The fans matched the players’ intensity throughout the game.

Although the Hawks’ playoff run came to an end last week, they showed no signs of a lack of passion. 

“Our staff is extremely proud to have been a part of this historic run for Laurier rugby. This was not something that happened over night, but has been building for the last five years. At the end of the day, it’s about the program and players, and whether or not those players buy in,” coach Ian McLeod said.  

“Fortunately, we have a tremendous leadership group that has continually pushed this program and its members forward with medal winning performances in mind. This year we were able to achieve part of the goal.”

The Hawks have now made history in consecutive years: last year they won their first playoff game ever, and this year they received their first medal ever.

The Hawks showed a tremendous amount of resilience to come back and win this game. 

This victory is even more impressive than it looks because the Hawks had not been trailing on many occasions during the season, but they managed to survive the adversity when they needed to.  

“The process of building a winning program is ongoing and must continually be worked on month after month, year after year. We are losing some huge contributors to our program this year both on and off the field,” coach McLeod added. 

Along with Quattrin, Ryan Gamm, Jeff Wood, Darnell Marks, Kevin Le, Derek Boyd and Chris Williamson will also be leaving the men’s rugby program.  

Losing seven players isn’t easy for any sports program and these players were crucial to the Hawks’ immense success over the past two years.

Although these are massive losses for the team, McLeod pointed out the fact that this will now create a great opportunity for others on the roster. 

“These are huge shoes to fill and create a fantastic opportunity for those wanting to fill those positions. If we’ve done our job from a recruiting standpoint, hopefully we can come close to what those young men brought to the program.”

The men’s rugby program has now created a winning mentality and expectations will continue to grow for the Hawks. 

It will be fascinating to see how the new recruits adapt to a program that is on the rise and one that is seemingly getting better every year. 

The Hawks are losing seven leaders and it will now be up to the youngsters to fill that leadership void that will be gone with the departure of the veterans.

But the expectations for the Hawks aren’t going to change.

“The expectation for next year is the same we have every year: to be playing on the last weekend, competing in a gold medal game. We have yet to get there so our job as coaches and players is far from done, but we feel we’re on the right track.”

The team is on the right track thanks to a great blend of leadership and talent from top to bottom. 

Under coach McLeod and his staff, the Hawks have experienced constant growth and eventual success.  

The Hawks made history in 2017 by winning their first playoff game in modern team history, and this year they raised their game to another level by winning their first medal ever. 

With the amount of improvement within this program year after year, the sky is the limit for the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s rugby team.   

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Hawks’ playoff run ends with a hard fought battle against the Gryphons https://thecord.ca/hawks-playoff-run-ends-with-a-hard-fought-battle-against-the-gryphons/ https://thecord.ca/hawks-playoff-run-ends-with-a-hard-fought-battle-against-the-gryphons/#respond Sun, 04 Nov 2018 05:08:38 +0000 https://thecord.ca/?p=52362

The Wilfrid Laurier University men’s rugby team’s playoff run came to an end on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018 at the hands of the Guelph Gryphons. 

The Gryphons landed the first blow on the Hawks as they jumped out to a 7-0 early in the first quarter but the Hawks responded quickly and effectively. 

Laurier scored on two consecutive drives and eventually took a 19-14 lead into halftime. 

Things got even better for the purple and gold at the start of the second half, as Darnell Marks scored a huge try off a lineout to extend the Hawks’ lead to 26-14. 

However, things quickly went downhill from there. 

Guelph shut-out the Hawks for the rest of the game, while scoring 20 consecutive points of their own, including two tries in the last four minutes to win by a final score of 34-26. 

It was a valiant effort from the Hawks against one of the best teams in the OUA, but Laurier’s season isn’t quite over yet.

The Hawks will now compete for the OUA bronze medal for the second straight year next weekend.

They will face the winner of the OUA semifinal between Queen’s and the University of Waterloo happening on Sunday. 

Laurier lost to McMaster in the 2017 bronze medal game so they will be hoping to put up a better performance this time around. 

It has been an impressive season for the Hawks so far and despite a tough loss this weekend, they still have a chance at making history by capturing the first medal in modern team history next week. 

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Sports in brief: A weekend roundup for Laurier athletics https://thecord.ca/sports-in-brief-a-weekend-roundup-for-laurier-athletics/ https://thecord.ca/sports-in-brief-a-weekend-roundup-for-laurier-athletics/#respond Wed, 03 Oct 2018 11:00:09 +0000 https://thecord.ca/?p=51758

File Photo / Heather Davidson

It was an up and down weekend for the Laurier men’s baseball team as they went 2-2 against Queen’s and the University of Toronto.

A number of different player impressed for the Hawks, including pitcher Ben Braun, who struck out eight batters in the first three innings against the Varsity Blues on Sunday.

This now brings the Hawks overall record to 9-5, which puts them in a tie for third place in the conference.

Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams participated in the Don Mills Invitational tournament on Saturday, and both teams were impressive to say the least.

On the women’s side, Lizzy Laurie finished first and won an individual gold medal, leading the team to an overall first place finish. Joe Sheridan came in third place which led the men to a second place finish overall.

The Laurier women’s lacrosse team continued their hot streak with wins over Guelph and Brock over the weekend. The Hawks were fantastic offensively, scoring 20 and 11 goals respectively against the Gryphons and Badgers.

Taylor Miller led the way for Laurier, contributing with five combined goals over the two games. The Hawks record is now 8-1, good enough for second place in the OUA standings. With only four games remaining in the regular season, the Hawks are well on their way to the playoffs.

The women’s  golf team won bronze at the Waterloo Invitational on Sunday. Stephanie Elsey led the way individually, as she finished 10th in the individual standings.

The golf teams took part in multiple invitational tournaments over the past week. The men’s team finished in fourth place at the McMaster Invitational on Thursday. Andrew Cox led the Hawks as he won silver in the individual standings.

The women’s  golf team won bronze at the Waterloo Invitational on Sunday. Stephanie Elsey led the way individually, as she finished 10th in the individual standings.

Both of the Laurier rugby teams picked up victories on the weekend. The women won against their cross-town rivals, the Waterloo Warriors, by a final score of 25-0. They will now look ahead to their first playoff game on Oct. 5, as they will head to Hamilton to take on the McMaster Marauders in the OUA quarter finals.

On the men’s side, the Hawks beat down the Royal Military College Paladins by a final score of 55-7, a week after they put up an astonishing 98 points against the University of Toronto.

The Hawks overall record is now 4-1, with their lone loss coming against Queen’s, the defending OUA champions. They will now look to continue their three-game winning streak against McMaster on Friday.

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No shortage of talent in the outstanding Braun family https://thecord.ca/no-shortage-of-talent-in-the-outstanding-braun-family/ https://thecord.ca/no-shortage-of-talent-in-the-outstanding-braun-family/#respond Wed, 12 Sep 2018 11:00:44 +0000 https://thecord.ca/?p=51069

Photo by Eva Ou

Famed names built off legacies associated by family trees always make for something interesting to see. Erin Braun, a Kitchener native, is one of Laurier’s new incoming women’s soccer players to see the field and have a positive impact so far this season.

The reason her name carries some weight is because of her older sister, none other than Jessa Braun, who starred at Laurier Brantford and was a finalist for the Outstanding Woman of Laurier award just this past year.

“My sister has always been my biggest role model. She’s done so much for Laurier and she’s an incredible athlete herself,” Braun said.

“She’s left some pretty big shoes to fill but she’s always told me to just focus on what I need to do better and not really focus on other people’s successes but use them more as a motivator. She’s a really big inspiration for me growing up, especially now that we’re both at Laurier.”

The decision to come to Laurier wasn’t exactly because of her older sister though. It’s a long time in the making for Erin.

“I started playing soccer when I was really, really young. When I was about 12 or so, I watched a lot of Laurier women’s soccer games. Ever since then, it’s kind of been where I’ve wanted to go. They’ve always had a pretty successful team and I wanted to be a part of that,” Braun said.

So far, she has started all but one of the games she’s played in, having scored her first career goal in Laurier’s first and only win of the season so far against York. While she didn’t expect this yet, she definitely has had an impact at points in the season.

The grasp on the idea of focusing on herself is something to show for, considering most people can overthink their path in comparison to a family member’s at the same place.

Impact in soccer doesn’t always have to do with putting goals up on the scoreboard and while she’s not lighting it up in terms of goals, her play has helped plenty and the midfielder lacks no confidence in her game either.

“I feel like I’m able to make just as much of an impact as any of the other players. I just need to keep working on my weaknesses, hopefully that could contribute a little bit better. I think that I have just as much potential to make the team better as any of the players do,” she said.

While it has been a slow start to the year for the Golden Hawks, she seems to be optimistic about the way they could turn their season around.

“I think that the team has a lot of potential. There’s a lot of girls that are in second, third, and fourth year that have just been really good role models. We’ve been working really hard every practice, on trying to work on the things we know we need to get better.”

“So I think that we still have a lot of potential for the rest of the season. We still have about a month and a half ‘til playoffs, so I think we can really pull it together before then,” Braun added.

With a younger team trying to find their way, the Golden Hawks definitely have young talent to look out for as they go along and improve. The grasp on the idea of focusing on herself is something to show for, considering most people can overthink their path in comparison to a family member’s at the same place.

With Laurier playing Windsor next, it should be interesting to see how much this team grows starting with Braun. Not only this year, but upcoming years as well.

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Struggles continue for the Hawks as they lose the ‘Battle of Waterloo’ https://thecord.ca/struggles-continue-for-the-hawks-as-they-lose-the-battle-of-waterloo/ https://thecord.ca/struggles-continue-for-the-hawks-as-they-lose-the-battle-of-waterloo/#respond Wed, 12 Sep 2018 11:00:42 +0000 https://thecord.ca/?p=51077

File Photo / Photo by Garrison Oosterhof

The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s soccer team came out with an unfortunate result in the first Battle of Waterloo game this season this past Saturday against the Waterloo Warriors, dropping the game 3-1. Laurier now sits 0-2 in the Battle of Waterloo before the big football game with the women’s soccer team also dropping their match by a score of 1-0.

The Golden Hawks started the game on the right foot, as they scored just eight minutes into the match on a goal from Antonio Hecimovic, Laurier’s first goal in five games.

Hecimovic, a third striker for the Golden Hawks, has tallied six shots this season, making him second on the team behind Glorious Okpali who was seven.

Though the game seemed to be in the Golden Hawks’ favour for the first time this season, Waterloo answered with one of their own midway through the first half.

Laurier stood their ground, even though Waterloo outshot the team nine to four, but rookie goalie Jefferey Omoregie-Sanni managed to keep the game under control.

Even with 17 goals against, Omoregie-Sanni is first in the OUA West for saves. He has had 45 shots against him in total, and he aims for a first clean sheet against his opponent.

Veteran Golden Hawks defender Tahrik Rodriques attempted to be a brick wall for the back, but players from Waterloo like Sebastian Guerrieri dominated for the opponent.

Guerrieri scored the second and third goals of the game for the Warriors, bringing his season total to six goals in six games — more than the Hawks have scored as a whole.

The third goal of the game came just five minutes into the second half, and though Laurier may have felt defeated, they stood their ground and held the Warriors scoreless for the remaining 40 minutes.

Waterloo is one of the top ranked teams in the OUA this season, sitting third in the OUA west with a 4-1-1 record, while Laurier is tied for eighth with Algoma, as they both have zero points this season.The upcoming weekend looks to be a turning point in Laurier’s season, however, as they play the fifth and sixth ranked teams in Windsor and Western.

The Windsor Lancers have a 3-2-1 record and 11 goals for, while the Western Mustangs gave a 2-1-2 record, with eight goals for.

Laurier has had to face nationally ranked York twice this season already, who sit on top of the OUA West, and a Guelph team who is in second.

Coming off a 5-game scoreless streak and finally finding the back of the net against Waterloo, Laurier will look to continually improve their gameplay as they head on the road to play Windsor on Sept. 14 and Western on Sept. 16.

Laurier also faces eighth place Algoma the following weekend, so the opportunity to pick up 12 points in the next two weeks is the turning point Laurier has been searching for all season.

Even with 17 goals against, Omoregie-Sanni is first in the OUA West for saves. He has had 45 shots against him in total, and he aims for a first clean sheet against his opponent.

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Big things on the horizon for Laurier Rugby https://thecord.ca/big-things-on-the-horizon-for-laurier-rugby/ https://thecord.ca/big-things-on-the-horizon-for-laurier-rugby/#respond Wed, 12 Sep 2018 11:00:13 +0000 https://thecord.ca/?p=51075

File Photo / Photo by Tanzeel Sayani

For both the men’s and women’s rugby teams, 2018 is shaping up to hopefully be a season for the record books.

Coming off of the best season in the modern history of the Laurier men’s rugby program, the team opened their 2018 campaign last week with a convincing 50-0 victory over Trent.

The Golden Hawks, who finished 2017 with a 5-3 record, dominated Trent from start to finish to capture a season opening victory for the third consecutive year.

“We’ve got a veteran team now, and they understand what we are looking for in our system and how we go about playing the game, and I think that showed [on opening night],” said head coach Ian McLeod about the team’s performance against Trent.

Matt Fish, who is part of the group of veterans that McLeod spoke about, had an outstanding performance in the win, leading the team with five tries.

Following the win versus Trent, the team took on Queen’s this past weekend in a showdown against one of the top rugby programs in the province.

The Gaels, who went undefeated during the 2017 season, were too much for Laurier to handle, as they handed the Hawks a 55-22 defeat.

On the Women’s side, the team opened their season with a 58-28 win over the University of Toronto, led by Michaela Strong and Hayley Desjardins who each scored two tries for the Hawks.

Despite the momentum from a season opening victory, Laurier dropped their home opener and second game of the season to Brock, who scored 45 points in the second half on route to a 69-17 win.

“The skill level is there and the character is there. I think for the first time since I’ve been here, we have some depth to play with. So [if we have] an injury, while not great, we can certainly fill a spot where before we didn’t have that luxury.”

Both early season losses suffered by the men’s and women’s teams should not be reason to worry, however, as the sides are still well positioned to be competing for one of the top seeds in the OUA come playoff time.

McLeod, the 2017 OUA Men’s Rugby Coach of the Year, spoke about his overall expectations for his team, coming off of a fourth place finish last year.

“The goal is simply to improve. So record wise, we would like to get a few more wins and go further in the playoffs than we did last year. Those are pretty simple but certainly very doable as far as I’m concerned and as far as the team is concerned. [They are] certainly in reach if we play to our capabilities.”

When asked about the biggest challenge standing in the way of improving on last season, McLeod mentioned that one issue facing the team is consistency.

“I think in spurts we’ve been very good and then in the same breath we haven’t been good. If we can remove the bad and increase the good I think we will be in great shape.”

Andrew Quattrin, a fifth year student, is the reigning OUA men’s rugby MVP and is definitely one of the standout Golden Hawks to watch for this season. He is the first male rugby player in school history to win MVP honours from the OUA.

The aforementioned Michaela Strong is likely to become the breakout player for the women’s team in 2018, as the third year student is coming off of an OUA First Team All-Star nomination in just her sophomore season.

Overall, coach McLeod seems very pleased with the men’s roster that has been assembled.

“The skill level is there and the character is there,” McLeod expressed. “I think for the first time since I’ve been here, we have some depth to play with. So [if we have] an injury, while not great, we can certainly fill a spot where before we didn’t have that luxury.”

You can catch both teams in action this weekend, as the women battle Trent on Sept. 15 and the men host their season opener against Western on Sept. 16.

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Finding positives to help you stick with a workout routine https://thecord.ca/finding-positives-to-help-you-stick-with-a-workout-routine/ https://thecord.ca/finding-positives-to-help-you-stick-with-a-workout-routine/#respond Fri, 31 Aug 2018 11:00:54 +0000 https://thecord.ca/?p=50889

Photo by Manraj Rai

I have never intentionally stuck with a fitness plan. Growing up I played a lot of sports but outside of organized exercise I can barely make it through two weeks of my own workouts.

I’ve always found the feeling of being a newbie at the gym or on a field kept me from feeling good about being active.

Over the summer I decided to tackle my history of fickle fitness while I had the time; I knew staying fit will get a lot harder when September hits.

I tried to use this summer as an orientation to what works for me and focused on building my confidence by give myself lots of time and forgiveness for not staying disciplined.

I’ve tried lots of different exercises in variety of settings in the hopes of coming back to school with a routine that I like and will be able to stick with.

The first thing I learned was that I need to feel some small nugget of goodness and immediate gratification if I’m going to stick with a workout. Otherwise, after a week and a half I’m going to look down and think ‘this sucks and it’s not even working.’

I asked Nicole Collins, a personal trainer at the Laurier Athletic Centre, if she had some good techniques for sticking to a workout plan.

“It is firstly most important to establish a clear and specific goal. Personally, I like to set S.M.A.R.T goals with my clients before we start any kind of workout program together,” she said.

S.M.A.R.T goals being Specific, Measurable, Action-able, Relevant and Time-bound.

“Consistency is key, and it may take time to find what works for you. Be patient.”

“I also think that it is important to set not only physical goals, (what you want to look like on the outside), but to also set health and wellness goals. For example, “I want to be stronger,” instead of ‘I want to look like him/her,’” Collins said.

I decided my first step to being more healthy was to improve my heart rate. Before I started, my resting heart rate was 68 (check your heart rate when you wake up). After going for a jog a four times a week. I saw my resting heart rate quickly begin to improve which meant my heart was working more efficiently and that gave me a big boost of confidence.

I began to see myself getting in the habit of running to stay in shape and wanted to gradually do more. In an email Nicole said this was really important:

“In addition, setting short-term goals as well as long-term goals will help. Ask yourself, ‘Will I be able to maintain this fitness program for a year.’ That is how you know if it is a sustainable program,” she said in an email.

Maybe running isn’t going to give you that taste of goodness like it does for me. A good alternative could be stretching.

I love the feeling after a long stretch session where I walk home and feel floppy like a boiled noodle. I would start with some dynamic (moving) stretches to warm up my to get my heart rate up and my muscles limber. When I started feeling a bit red in the face I moved into either static stretches or yoga. Even with 15 minutes of stretching per day I started to feel better balance, flexibility and strength. If you’re doing it right, you won’t feel achey and stiff afterwards and hopefully that will motivate you to do more again the next day.

Nicole also suggested to get social with your fitness. “Whether it’s working out with a close friend or finding a class, they will hold you accountable to sticking with your workout plan. We offer multiple small group training programs at the athletic complex. Some of these programs are Barbelles, Barbell, Train for Greatness, I Move my Mood, Intramurals, Group ex, Dance etc.”

If you break it all down, staying healthy is about creating new patterns and to do that we need to feel the rewards of doing good things for our bodies.

“Consistency is key, and it may take time to find what works for you. Be patient,” Collins said.

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Looking ahead to an integrated Wellness Centre https://thecord.ca/looking-ahead-to-an-integrated-wellness-centre/ https://thecord.ca/looking-ahead-to-an-integrated-wellness-centre/#respond Fri, 31 Aug 2018 11:00:30 +0000 https://thecord.ca/?p=50883

File Photo/Photo by Victoria Panacci

There are a variety of athletic clubs at Wilfrid Laurier University featuring sports such as boxing, cricket, figure skating and sailing, among others. However, it can be argued that these clubs haven’t received the exposure they deserve at Laurier.

Tarique Plummer, President and CEO of the Students’ Union, discussed the changes that are being implemented to help the sports clubs at Laurier.

“This past year when I was running for president during the election period, I made 15 promises to the student body. One of the promises I made spoke about the sports clubs at Laurier. I worked as a sports clubs’ coordinator and I understand that the department had significant challenges; one of those was financial restrictions,” he said.

“The program is unable to expand and develop because equipment costs money, space costs money, opportunities to expose [the clubs] to the university cost money and because of these restrictions,” Plummer added.

Not only is the Students’ Union going to provide sports clubs with financial aid, there is also a plan to improve the facilities at the athletic complex.

“The discussions for that plan are still going on and we are talking to the university right now on how we can best approach this. Hopefully by the end of this year, we will have built a solid foundation. Whoever the president is next year can hopefully continue with the idea because there is significant interest.” – Tarique Plummer

“[The Students’ Union] granted the Athletic Complex a decent chunk of money that could go towards the purchase of new equipment, repair of current equipment and also to help cover the HR packages in terms of reducing overtime and providing more student jobs,” Plummer said.

The addition of new equipment and repairing the existing equipment will be completed by the end of the year.

Plummer went on to talk about expanding the Wellness Centre at Laurier, admitting that this is something that would take considerably longer to implement.

“I also spoke about the integrated Wellness Centre idea, which looks at the integration of physical and academic wellness and diversity. This is more of a long term plan that would take a couple of years to actualize,” he said.

“It looks at a bigger building that has all those important aspects of wellness in different divisions so that they are in one centralized location. The department will be able to expand significantly and make up some of the shortcomings they have.”

“The discussions for that plan are still going on and we are talking to the university right now on how we can best approach this. Hopefully by the end of this year, we will have built a solid foundation. Whoever the president is next year can hopefully continue with the idea because there is significant interest,” Plummer concluded.

There have been numerous complaints about the perceived deficiencies of the Wellness Centre by numerous students, especially over the past year.

This long term goal of an integrated Wellness Centre and helping sports clubs gain recognition are certainly steps in the right direction when it comes to improving student satisfaction at Laurier.

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AEXOS helps athletes with reduction of concussions https://thecord.ca/aexos-helps-athletes-with-reduction-of-concussions/ https://thecord.ca/aexos-helps-athletes-with-reduction-of-concussions/#respond Fri, 31 Aug 2018 11:00:12 +0000 https://thecord.ca/?p=50885

For many, the Kitchener-Waterloo area is seen as one of the premier startup hubs of North America, and recently, this entrepreneurial spirit has been seeping into the sport industry.

Rob and Charles Corrigan, two Kitchener natives, founded Advanced Exoskeletal Systems (AEXOS) in 2015, in the hopes of changing the landscape of protective sports equipment.

“Rob and I were both athletes and have both experienced concussions,” Charles, the CEO of the company said.

“[We saw] an unmet need in terms of a real solution to what we thought was a big factor in the whole concussion injury spectrum: whiplash.”

For the past three years, the brothers have been working together to develop their first product, HALO, which is a high-performance compression shirt that has been engineered to help reduce whiplash motion of the neck and head during times of impact.

HALO was created with a diverse range of athletes in mind, ensuring that comfort and performance are not compromised, while delivering state of the art athletic protection.

“It has the potential to make a huge difference. I wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes a standard piece of equipment that every athlete in contact sports wore.” – Courtney Stephen

“It’s a new thing for [athletes] to digest when they first see it,” Rob, who acts as the company’s COO, said.

“But once they kind of wrap their head around it and begin to connect the dots on how it could help them from a whiplash reduction perspective, they begin to warm up to it.”

When asked about the response that they have received from athletes so far that have had the chance to test HALO, both Rob and Charles expressed that they were “very pleased with the feedback to date.”

This positivity is something that has been reiterated by current Florida Panthers winger Mike Hoffman and retired NHL journeyman Wayne Primeau, who have both taken to social media in the past few weeks to promote HALO.

Contributed Image

Additionally, members of the Laurier football team along with former Golden Hawk and current CFL defensive back, Courtney Stephen, have helped AEXOS market their product to football players.

“AEXOS is doing something that no one has ever done, in bringing performance and safety together in a way that’s almost invisible,” Stephen, who played for Laurier in 2008 and 2009, said.

“I wore it during training camp, where we have a heavy workload and are playing a lot in a small amount of time, [which is] when you tend to get the sorest that you are going to get. I didn’t realize until I took the HALO off and didn’t use it for practice, how much it was actually supporting my neck and making me feel more comfortable.”

Stephen, who has played six years of professional football, said that “a lot of guys were asking [about HALO], because they’d never seen it before,” signalling high levels of curiosity from other players.

One of the challenges that still may face AEXOS going forward is trying to get athletes to incorporate HALO into their equipment of choice and game-day routine.

“The one thing we tried to do from day one, is really understand the fact that athletes are very hesitant to add any equipment to the stuff that they already wear,” Charles mentioned.

“Typically, equipment is restrictive, bulky and heavy and that was very much a barrier for us in terms of the perception of what an extra piece of equipment could be. [HALO] has the ability to give [athletes] something that looks and feels familiar, in terms of compression gear, which made the barrier of entry a little less difficult.”

This sentiment was also shared by Stephen.

“You can understand why there might be some hesitation, but you just have to get people to try it, because once they do, it speaks for itself,” he said.

Although the primary target market for HALO is hockey and football players, who are easily the most prone athletes to head injuries out of any of the major North American sports, the possibilities for the product are endless.

“The good thing about being a small startup is that we can pivot almost anywhere,” Charles expressed.

“At the end of the day, Rob and I are just stewards of a good idea and however we can grow that and proliferate it, is what we’re here to do.”

HALO is set to come to market later this fall, with pre-orders available through the company’s Kickstarter page until mid-September. The shirt is planned to retail at $190, with men’s, women’s, youth and junior sizes available.

“It has the potential to make a huge difference,” Stephen mentioned confidently. “I wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes a standard piece of equipment that every athlete in contact sports wore.”

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Finding ways to stick to your fitness routine this September https://thecord.ca/finding-ways-to-stick-to-your-fitness-routine-this-september/ https://thecord.ca/finding-ways-to-stick-to-your-fitness-routine-this-september/#respond Fri, 31 Aug 2018 10:59:02 +0000 https://thecord.ca/?p=51006

Photo by Manraj Rai

I have never intentionally stuck with a fitness plan. Growing up I played a lot of sports but outside of organized exercise I can barely make it through two weeks of my own workouts.

I’ve always found the feeling of being a newbie at the gym or on a field kept me from feeling good about being active.

Over the summer I decided to tackle my history of fickle fitness while I had the time; I knew staying fit will get a lot harder when September hits.

I tried to use this summer as an orientation to what works for me and focused on building my confidence by give myself lots of time and forgiveness for not staying disciplined.

I’ve tried lots of different exercises in variety of settings in the hopes of coming back to school with a routine that I like and will be able to stick with.

The first thing I learned was that I need to feel some small nugget of goodness and immediate gratification if I’m going to stick with a workout. Otherwise, after a week and a half I’m going to look down and think ‘this sucks and it’s not even working.’

I asked Nicole Collins, a personal trainer at the Laurier Athletic Centre, if she had some good techniques for sticking to a workout plan.

“It is firstly most important to establish a clear and specific goal. Personally, I like to set S.M.A.R.T goals with my clients before we start any kind of workout program together,” she said.

S.M.A.R.T goals being Specific, Measurable, Action-able, Relevant and Time-bound.

“I also think that it is important to set not only physical goals, (what you want to look like on the outside), but to also set health and wellness goals. For example, “I want to be stronger,” instead of ‘I want to look like him/her,’” Collins said.

I decided my first step to being more healthy was to improve my heart rate. Before I started, my resting heart rate was 68 (check your heart rate when you wake up). After going for a jog a four times a week. I saw my resting heart rate quickly begin to improve which meant my heart was working more efficiently and that gave me a big boost of confidence.

I began to see myself getting in the habit of running to stay in shape and wanted to gradually do more. In an email Nicole said this was really important:

“In addition, setting short-term goals as well as long-term goals will help. Ask yourself, ‘Will I be able to maintain this fitness program for a year.’ That is how you know if it is a sustainable program,” she said in an email.

Maybe running isn’t going to give you that taste of goodness like it does for me. A good alternative could be stretching.

I love the feeling after a long stretch session where I walk home and feel floppy like a boiled noodle. I would start with some dynamic (moving) stretches to warm up my to get my heart rate up and my muscles limber.

When I started feeling a bit red in the face I moved into either static stretches or yoga. Even with 15 minutes of stretching per day I started to feel better balance, flexibility and strength. If you’re doing it right, you won’t feel achey and stiff afterwards and hopefully that will motivate you to do more again the next day.

Nicole also suggested to get social with your fitness. “Whether it’s working out with a close friend or finding a class, they will hold you accountable to sticking with your workout plan.

We offer multiple small group training programs at the athletic complex. Some of these programs are Barbelles, Barbell, Train for Greatness, I Move my Mood, Intramurals, Group ex, Dance etc.”

If you break it all down, staying healthy is about creating new patterns and to do that we need to feel the rewards of doing good things for our bodies.

“Consistency is key, and it may take time to find what works for you. Be patient,” Collins said.

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