Trent University Student-Athletes Honoured at Annual Excalibur Athletics Awards Banquet
Graduating student-athletes Grace VandenBroek and Aidan McLaughlin named recipients of prestigious Arthur Cup
Trent University student-athletes, coaches, staff, and special guests came together to celebrate the accomplishments of the season and showcase what it means to be part of the One Excalibur during the 54th annual Athletics Awards held at the Trent Athletics Centre on March 23, 2023.
“Gathering for the 54th annual Trent Excalibur Athletics Awards Banquet gives us the opportunity to reflect and celebrate the hard work and success of our student-athletes and coaches,” said Leslie Spooner, interim director of Athletics and Recreation at Trent. “We're so proud of our student-athletes, for the exceptional commitment that they bring to their sport and academic studies. This event is our way of recognizing their achievements and congratulating them on another year of Excalibur excellence.”
Varsity student-athletes Grace VandenBroek (rowing) and Aidan McLaughlin (men’s lacrosse) were honoured as the recipients of the Arthur Cup, the University’s most prestigious award presented to graduating students who have demonstrated outstanding contribution, sportsmanship, participation, and leadership in athletics programs.
Grace VandenBroek (Gzowski College) has had an outstanding five-year career with the Trent Excalibur rowing team. With numerous OUA medals under her belt, her rowing career does not stop at the university level. A two-time OUA Women’s Rower of the Year, Grace has also brought home medals from the Canadian University Rowing Championships and represented Canada at the U19 and U23 World Championships, most recently winning a bronze medal in the women’s double scull.
The Business Administration student has consistently been an honour roll student each year and continues to succeed on the water and in the classroom, with hopes to compete at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
Aidan McLaughlin (Champlain College) of the men’s lacrosse team has been a key part of the success of the team over the last five years and especially in their first-ever championship win of the Baggataway Cup this past season.
The Kinesiology student has had a decorated university lacrosse career. His accolades include being named an All Baggataway Cup team member, East Division All Canadian for the faceoff specialist position, Central Division All-Canadian at both the defensive midfielder and faceoff specialist positions, the John Wasson Award for Trent men’s lacrosse as well as the recipient of the Paul Conley award Trent men’s lacrosse.
Off the field, Aidan was a founding member of the 1EX Council Leadership team in 2020/21 and served on the 1EX Council leadership team for three years. Additionally, he volunteers in the community as a volunteer lacrosse coach.
“Trent Excalibur student-athletes aren’t just athletes,” said Sarah Batley, assistant director, Sport & Student Engagement at Trent. “Their passion, integrity, and dedication to their sport follows them into their day-to-day lives and makes them such valuable members of our community. Whether they’re volunteering to coach a youth team or organizing a fundraiser, we are so proud of our Excalibur student-athletes who are actively engaged in our community.”
Gary Wolff Leadership Award
With their dedication, passion, and leadership on the pitch, in the water and the community, Brianna Tombs (women’s rowing) and Brett Middleton (men’s rugby) have been awarded the Gary Wolff Leadership Award.
Brianna Tombs (Champlain College) is an accomplished rower who has won several Regatta and OUA Rowing Medals. Having served on the Trent University Rowing executive – most recently as president, Brianna has been described by teammates as a pillar of the Trent Rowing community and a humble leader who is able to bring the rowing team together. When not gliding across the Otonabee, Brianna is an active member of the community, volunteering with youth rowing teams.
Brett Middleton (Lady Eaton College), a leader on and off the field, served as a member of the men’s rugby leadership team throughout his five seasons, and acted as captain in his last season. Brett is attributed with keeping the team together safely throughout the pandemic to keep morale up. A passionate community member, Brett helped raise over $2,500 for Movember and was a Relay for Life participant. Brett often volunteered at University events, volunteered as a community rugby coach with a local high school program and refereed youth rugby matches in the area.
Community Betterment Award
This year's recipient of the Community Betterment Award is Amanda MacCarthy (women’s rugby).
Amanda (Champlain College), a fourth-year Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems student, acted as team treasurer and head of fundraising, helping to initiate fundraising opportunities for Trent Rugby and community organizations. She developed a partnership with the Youth Emergency Shelter in Peterborough, helping to raise awareness and over $2500 for their cause. Most recently, Amanda launched a not-for-profit organization called FairPlay sports, aiming to bring recreational opportunities and nutritional education to underprivileged youth in the area.
For their achievements over the 2022/23 academic year, over 80 Trent Excalibur student-athletes were acknowledged for achieving academic honours by maintaining an 80 percent or higher average, while playing in their respective varsity sport.
Visit trentu.ca/athletics for a complete list of award recipients.
About Trent University
One of Canada's top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that's personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent's unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent's students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area, delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.
For more information contact:
Cara Walsh, Communications & Media Relations Officer, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x6240 or firstname.lastname@example.org