Two Laurier Athletics staff named to Team Ontario for the 2021 Canada Summer Games


Graphic by Kash Patel

Among the talented athletes representing Team Ontario in the 2021 Canada Summer Games are two Laurier faculty members. Long-time swim coach now with Laurier, Cathy Pardy and accomplished communications coordinator Jamie Howieson were named to the staff of the provincial team for the summer games. 

Pardy will be joining the team as the swim head coach, while Howieson is joining Team Ontario as a member of the Mission Staff, a part of the overall communications team, and will be assisting Pardy with swimming. His time at Laurier has prepared him for working with student-athletes at a national level.

“They were looking for specific communications experience to help improve that side of their Mission Staff, something they felt was lacking in the past. To be chosen to be a part of that is a huge honour and it is something I am very proud of,” Howieson said. 

Starting his time at Laurier in 2011, he has become a leader with extensive sports knowledge and a great ability to connect with athletes. He is competent and driven in producing great coverage of student-athletes both on and off the field. 

“There is going to be an adjustment in terms of working a major multi-sport games. That’s an experience I’ve never had before … I think my experience at Laurier has taught me how to connect with young athletes and talk to them on a level they can understand,” Howieson said. 

The athletes competing at the Canada Summer Games are ages 18 and under.  Howieson will be working with the young student-athletes to help them understand what they have to do from a communications and media perspective.

Pardy joined the Golden Hawks swimming department as Head Coach in the fall of 2018, bringing with her 30 years of experience. Throughout her professional life she has developed multiple athletes into fierce international competitors. One of these athletes is Tyson MacDonald, a Laurier alumni who competed for Team Canada at the 2019 ParaPan Am Games.

“Working with Cathy has been great. I have been working with her at Laurier for a couple of years now and [she’s] really easy to work with and has been doing a great job with our swim team, so I’m excited to see what she is able to do with the next upcoming batch of Ontario athletes hoping to make their mark in Canada,” Howieson said.

The years of experience shared between Howieson and Pardy as well as their existing relationship will result in a stronger Team Ontario. 

“I think it is going to be a good experience, I think us having a previous relationship should help things run pretty smooth and hopefully straight forward,” Howieson said.

While both faculty members are excited with the announcement they will have to wait as it was just recently announced that the 2021 Summer Games are being postponed to the Summer of 2022 due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Shortly after the announcement that he was named to Team Ontario’s Mission Staff as part of the overall communications team, Howieson met and discussed with other leading members of the team on how to proceed in unprecedented times. 

“We are basically going to try to do as much leg work in the next couple of months when we don’t really have any sports going on and try to get a head start to be ready for the games when we get into next year … and then re-engage in the process this time next year,” Howieson said. 

The team will be working on media training, getting presentations prepared for athletes and coaches to get them prepared for when the games begin. 

The Canada Summer Games began in 1967 as an attempt to develop the next generation of Canadian leaders in sports and quickly grew to become Canada’s largest multi-level sporting event. 

The 2021 Canada Summer Games was set to take place in the Niagara Region from Aug. 6-12, with a total of 18 sports, more than 5,000 athletes and coaches and over 4,000 volunteers.

Howieson commented on the proceedings of the games after the announcement to postpone. 

“The games have been delayed to 2022 so a lot of working with Cathy is put on hold until we get closer to scheduled games but it was pretty cool to get named, then see her get named … this should be a lot of fun, being able to work with a fellow Golden Hawk on the pool deck and watch her coach these athletes.” 

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