Normandeau wins Outstanding Women of Laurier award
When Jacky Normandeau got up on stage as one of the nominees for the Outstanding Women of Laurier award with Evie Fortier and Suzanne Boroumand, she wasn’t nervous.
But that was mainly because she thought she wouldn’t win.
Normandeau was the recipient of the 11th annual OWL award, given to the woman who best combines athletic and academic achievement with active volunteering in the community. She is a dual-sport athlete that plays defence for Wilfrid Laurier University’s soccer and hockey teams. Normandeau joins the company of past winners like Lee Anna Osei, Bree Chaput, Fiona Lester and Laura Crocker. Normandeau became the first soccer athlete to receive this award and the fifth hockey athlete.
“It’s incredible, I still can’t believe it,” she said. “The other nominees and anyone who’s won, this is amazing just to be nominated and even included in this award.”
On top of playing hockey and soccer, Normandeau also participates in hospital visits and volunteers for the Running and Reading program with the Laurier Letterman Club and coaches at a girl’s hockey camp over the summer months. She also runs the athlete study hall, where she mentors younger athletes and volunteers at Cedabrae Public School.
Normandeau said she balances everything out by making priorities and having the discipline of finishing your priorities now so you can give back to the community while she’s at her best.
“You have to make priorities and you’re here because someone gave it to you so you have to go and give back,” she said. “Even if you feel like you’re really busy, you should know that you should work extra hard when you’re doing your homework so you can give back because community service is really important.”
“It carries on the legacy of women’s sport, especially now.”
The night also featured curling Olympic champion Jennifer Jones as a keynote speaker. Jones is a five-time Canadian women’s curling champion, the 2008 World women’s curling champion, 2015 World silver medalist and the 2010 World women’s bronze medalist. Jones also won the gold medal at the 2014 winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Normandeau said that just listening to Jones experiences in sport was incredible in itself.
“Jennifer Jones speech was amazing, so motivating and so enlightening,” she said. “Just her experiences, so incredible just to listen to that.”
Overall, Normandeau enjoyed her night and all the support she received from her teammates, coaches and friends.
“It’s always great to see all the influential women coming about, even your team mates and your friends, everyone getting all dressed up and supporting your school,” she said.