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Trent's top female academic athlete among 18 honoured by Dr. Roberta Bondar

Ontario University Athletics recognizes outstanding young women from universities across the province

Trent University student Sheena McKay was recently honoured by Ontario University Athletics (OUA) and Trent Chancellor Dr. Roberta Bondar for her excellence in athletics and academia. Ms. McKay was chosen to represent Trent athletes, specifically women, at a November 20 luncheon that saw scholar-athletes from 18 universities across the province recognized for their outstanding achievements.

At the Scholar-Athlete Luncheon, held as part of the Chatelaine Women of Influence Luncheon Series in Toronto, Dr. Bondar congratulated the young women on their accomplishments and spoke on the "Role of Sport and Activity in the Lives of Girls and Women".

Ms. McKay, 19, a native of Barrie and a third-year student majoring in English and Cultural Studies, is also the captain of the Women's Sabre Team (fencing). Her Academic All Canadian status indicates participation in a varsity sport and an academic average of 80 per cent or higher. Ms. McKay last year earned the silver medal at the OUA finals and she has been on the Dean's Honour Roll for the last two years.

Ms. McKay started fencing in her first year at Trent having recognized "an opportunity to try something I had never even considered." Today, a few months into her third year, she says it has become an "experience of a lifetime."

"I was intrigued by the fine movements and quick actions that are necessary to excel at fencing, and I was instantly determined, as I still am, to be better tomorrow than I am today," she says. "Dedication, support from my teammates, and a love of the sport, have all been instrumental in my success."

Athletics Director Bill Byrick was pleased to have Ms. McKay representing Trent athletes - 30 per cent of which are Academic All Canadians. He noted Ms. McKay's incredible success, considering just two years ago she was a rookie to the sport.

"My experiences on the fencing team are microcosmic of my entire experience at Trent," says Ms. McKay. "A strong desire to learn, combined with the support of others, has helped me to succeed."

Posted December 2, 2003

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