As leaders on their respective varsity teams and in the classroom, Trent Excalibur student-athletes Amanda MacCarthy (Women’s Rugby) and Daniel Austin (Men’s Volleyball) have been awarded the 2021 Bonnie M. Patterson Athletics Financial Award.
“The significance of the Bonnie M. Patterson Athletic Financial Award definitely means a lot,” said Amanda, a Champlain College student. “I’ve known some really amazing people who have received this award in the past, and it’s a really cool legacy to be a part of.”
“The award helps a lot with my athletic career and helps me invest in myself, my body and my sport to make sure I’m performing at the highest level,” added Daniel, a Gzowski College student. “Being at Trent, I love the support and the 1Excalibur where we all come together as a community. Having this support is definitely special.”
Positive leader on-and-off the field
Speaking of Amanda, Peter Hercus, head coach of the Excalibur women’s rugby team, said: “I can’t think of a more deserving person for this award.”
From taking on responsibilities on the field to volunteering in a leadership role with the team’s fundraising initiatives, Amanda is a strong student-athlete, team leader, and a key member of the Trent and Peterborough communities.
“It’s important to do my best on the field and to also be a leader through the commitment to academic achievement and volunteering in the community. If we’re not making the community vibrant, then it doesn’t mean as much to wear the jerseys that, from first-hand experience, I can tell you that all the student-athletes at Trent are so proud to wear,” said Amanda. “Being able to be friends with your teammates, being able to support them and the community, it feels good as a person, but once you see the impact, see the people who might not have had the confidence really come into their own, it’s so personally rewarding that it doesn’t feel like work and more like having fun with your friends in the community.”
Amanda has further established her commitment to the Trent community as the athletic representative of the Champlain College Cabinet, an orientation representative for new Trent students, and as a member of the Student Association for International Development.
Leadership development from the court to the community
Reflecting on his time coaching Daniel, Uwe Dienst, former head coach of the Excalibur men’s volleyball team, said: “When it comes to character and dedication Danny deserves to be recognized.”
Into his fourth year with the Excalibur men’s volleyball team, Daniel has become a leader on the court and in the community.
“I want to lead by example,” Daniel said on his leadership style. “If I’m asking my teammates to do something, I’m willing to do it myself or already doing it. I want to make sure that everything I’m doing on and off the court is setting a good example.”
His leadership throughout the years has been the glue for the team’s culture and his positive attitude has reached into the community in the form of fundraising activities and volunteering his time coaching local youth teams and clubs.
“In the community, as a varsity athlete, we’re the role models for a lot of the kids who are coming up and want to be you one day, so every opportunity that I had to go to a club practice, or run a volleyball clinic with kids, it helps grow the game in Peterborough.”
Excelling in the classroom
Beyond their athletic and community involvement, both student-athletes showcased their ability to excel academically – balancing their achievements on the field with those in the classroom.
Their dedication to academics, athletics, and community involvement represents what it means to be part of the Trent Excalibur.
About The Bonnie M. Patterson Athletic Financial Award
The Bonnie M. Patterson Athletic Financial Award was created as a tribute to Bonnie Patterson, president and vice-chancellor of Trent University from 1998-2009. It is awarded to returning full-time undergraduate students participating in the varsity athletics program on the recommendation of the director, Athletics and approval by the president.