Sydney Pattison receives 14th annual Outstanding Women of Laurier award

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Photo by Safina Husein

On Thursday Mar. 28, Laurier Athletics held the fourteenth annual Outstanding Women of Laurier dinner event at Bingeman’s Conference Centre in Kitchener to celebrate the achievements of women in athletics.

The night featured many different sectors, including the presentation of the Dolores “Mitzi” Michael Women Leaders Scholarship, a keynote address by TSN radio host Andi Petrillo and the announcement of the recipient of the Outstanding Woman of Laurier award.

The event is hosted not only to recognize success and leadership of women in athletics, but also to raise money for scholarships for women’s athletics at Laurier, with over $400,000 being raised by the event since its inception in 2006.

“I was really interested, it was the first time I had heard about the event, to be honest with you, so I did some research into it and thought to myself how incredible it was. It’s just another example of women supporting women, women encouraging women to not be sorry for being successful, for working hard and wanting to achieve great things,” said Andi Petrillo, the keynote speaker for the event.

“I wanted to meet so many incredible women too, I have to be honest, it always inspires me. Sometimes I look back and I think if I was a go-getter in university the way I see so many young women are, so if I can succeed not even being close to half of the success they experience, they will go far beyond.”

“What I do [outside of track], I don’t do it for my own gain, I do it for other people. This proves other people notice it — if I can make one person’s day every day, it’s unbelievable that I get to do that and that other people are noticing.”

The finalists for the award were Jenna Lazarou, a third-year health sciences major who is a midfielder on the women’s soccer team; Sydney Pattison, a third-year kinesiology and physical education major who is a member of both cross country and middle distance at Laurier and Danielle Wark, a fourth-year kinesiology and physical education major who is a forward on the women’s hockey team.

The evening began with the scholarship presentation, followed by Petrillo’s keynote address during dinner, where she discussed her defining moments as a woman that led her to continue to take the path that led her to be the host of a TSN radio hockey show.

“I grew up with a woman working — that was my mom, and she always worked in management positions too. For a woman not to be a go-getter, I never really understood that. The more you pay attention to the women out there who want to achieve great things, the more you realize there are a lot of them out there; you can find so many of them to be your role models,” Petrillo said.

Dinner was followed by the presentation of the award by a representative from the title sponsor RBC, where middle distance runner Sydney Pattison was announced as the 2019 Outstanding Woman of Laurier.

“It feels amazing — I think I’m the first track athlete to ever get it which is an honour to represent my sport. Jenna and Danielle are amazing people; I’m glad I had the opportunity to stand up there with them, but it’s such an honour to get more notice into women in athletics and support for women at Laurier,” Pattison said.

Pattison won the bronze for middle distance running at the OUA championships this year — the first medal in program history — as well as placing twelfth at the USPORTS championships.

“What I do [outside of track], I don’t do it for my own gain, I do it for other people. This proves other people notice it — if I can make one person’s day every day, it’s unbelievable that I get to do that and that other people are noticing.”

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