Every year, Laurier awards the Outstanding Woman of Laurier award to a female athlete based on what they have accomplished in the sport they play, as well as what they have done for the community.
This year, the three finalists have exceeded all expectations when it comes to personal achievement.
The finalists include third-year soccer player Julie Karn, fifth-year lacrosse player Jessica Lubert and fourth-year hockey player Giuliana Pallotta.
“It’s great to see the impact that female athletes can have in the community because I think that sometimes gets forgotten,” said Pallotta.
Karn added that female recognition in sports has improved a lot in the past few years.
“It’s amazing that Laurier even offers this award. I don’t know of any other university that does this. The fact that it goes towards women’s scholarships definitely helps gain recognition and helps raise funds for female athletes.”
The three women have been great players for their teams, as well as great people in their communities.
Lubert has coached lacrosse for four years and has started a lacrosse league for girls in middle school.
Pallotta was named the women’s hockey team’s captain this year. She has also volunteered at the Toronto General Hospital.
Pallotta was also a big part of Laurier’s Bell Let’s Talk campaign this year.
The Beeton native gave all the credit for her success to her coach and her teammates.
“Rick Osborne gave me a great opportunity and I was able to build off the way he taught me. I have also had great teammates and I was appointed the captain of the team last year, which was extremely shocking to me. But I had a lot of great role models over the year before and they helped get me into the position that I got into for the past few years,” she said.
Karn has also been very involved off the field, as she is currently teaching dance and volunteering for the Canadian Cancer Society, as well as the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
“You want to make a difference off the field as well and influence future athletes as much as possible,” she said.
“It’s hard sometimes being so busy with soccer, dance and teaching, but making time for the Canadian Cancer society, the Heart and Stroke foundation and other off the field activities is really important to me.”
Even with so many commitments, Karn managed to excel for the women’s soccer team, as she was an integral part of their team.
Karn mentioned that goal setting is essential towards achieving personal success and that her role models have played a part in her success.
“It’s about having a good support system, managing my time and I’m always involved in things that I’m passionate about,” she said.
Pallotta put up great performances throughout the season for the women’s hockey team, although the team had a disappointing season.
When asked about how she stays motivated, Pallotta indicated that her passion for hockey will never fade away.
“I love the game of hockey. I want to do well and I want to see my team do well,” she said.
“We’re so privileged to be here being female athletes. The opportunities that we’ve been given are outstanding. You just have to bring yourself back down to earth.”
Pallotta has played her last game for Laurier, as she will be graduating this year. She described her experience at Laurier as life changing.
“If it wasn’t for Laurier, I don’t think that I would be the person that I am today. The people that have influenced and inspired me here have changed my life. I am able to carry on into what’s next because of that,” Pallotta concluded.
Lubert, Karn and Pallotta are great role models for young female athletes. Not only are they great athletes, they are great people with great character.
The winner of the Outstanding Woman of Laurier award will be announced on Thursday night at The 12th Annual Outstanding Women of Laurier Dinner at Bingemans Conference Centre.
The Cord reached out to Jessica Lubert for an interview, but she was unavailable at this time.