Lazaro, Pattison and Wark announced as Outstanding Women of Laurier finalists

Photo by Sadman Sakib Rahman

Jenna Lazarou, Sydney Pattison and Danielle Wark have been announced as this year’s 2019 Outstanding Women of Laurier (OWL) finalists.

Wilfrid Laurier University’s department of athletics and recreation will host the fourteenth annual OWL awards on March 28 at Bingemans Conference Centre where one of the three finalists will be awarded with the OWL award. 

The OWL Award strives to recognize one female athlete each year. The recipient of the award embodies outstanding athletic and academic achievement while demonstrating leadership to young athletes within the community. 

This year at the awards ceremony, Andi Petrillo will be present to give attendees a keynote speech. Petrillo is an award-winning broadcaster with Ten and CBC. 

This year’s finalists all said that being shortlisted for the award was an honour and an accomplishment to be proud of. 

“I think first and foremost it’s a huge honour for all three of us. It’s an amazing opportunity and it’s just amazing that our school recognizes those who are very dedicated and hardworking. I think in general it’s a huge honour,” said Jenna Lazarou.

Lazarou is a third-year health science student is on the Laurier women’s soccer team. 

“I’m a pretty big female advocate so I think the fact that we have this opportunity at Laurier to advocate for females and even just to inspire those around us to be active and to be involved and blossom into your own i think that’s truly an honour,” Lazarou said.

For Sydney Pattison, a middle-distance runner, being nominated is both exciting on a personal note as well as for other track athletes. 

As well, recognizing female athletes promotes the importance of having female role models and mentors.

“I’m the first track athlete to ever get nominated, so it’s very exciting to bring this to my sport and get us more recognition and stuff like that,” Pattison said. 

Pattison is a third-year kinesiology and physical education student here at Laurier. 

“I’m really honoured. I didn’t really expect this at all. I thought i’d throw my name in and see what happens. When I found out I was slated I was very, very excited.”

Danielle Wark doted on the prestige which being nominated for the OWL award holds, especially here at Laurier.”

“It’s an amazing opportunity and just to get nominated is a true honour,” Wark said.

“The people who got nominated before me.. to even be held at the same standard as them is absolutely amazing and an awesome opportunity just to grow women in athletics.”

All three finalists agreed that the OWL award and recognizing female athletes is extremely important. 

“I think OWL is important for us students here at Laurier but not all the time females in sport are recognized in our world so I think we’re starting small here at our school, and publicizing this will further revolve into something greater for the future and that’s very necessary for females and celebrating our greatness,” Lazarou said. 

OWL ultimately works to inspire female athletes at Laurier while recognizing their accomplishments, successes and achievements as athletes and beyond. 

“It brings more awareness to how important women in athletics is and it can get more women involved — or even those who are involved — it can get them to the next level or make them wanna stay in sport for the rest of their life,” Pattison said.

As well, recognizing female athletes promotes the importance of having female role models and mentors. 

“Some of my coaches I’ve looked up to them my whole life in sport and in their own lives… having mentors out there for younger kids and having more visibility for women in athletics,” Wark said. 

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