Seadogs win European handball championship

The Seadogs are Dalhousie’s Co-ed Intramural European Handball champions. They won the title on the weekend tournament.

By Keili Bartlett

The Seadogs are Dalhousie’s Co-ed Intramural European Handball champions.

But most people don’t know what European handball is, much less follow it. There were no fans in the gym for any of the three games in the finals.

European handball is a fast-paced game, similar to soccer, except that players can’t touch the ball with their feet. Instead, they dribble the small, almost volleyball-sized ball, and can only run with it for three steps before having to pass or shoot. A black area called the “key” surrounds the net. Players on neither team can step inside the key while they hold the ball.

Handball is occasionally taught in junior high schools in Nova Scotia, but rarely takes up more than one gym class.

Undefeated team a no-show

The Seadogs and Bobie, who played against each other during the final game of the championships on Sunday, caught a lucky break when DalMed, the first-ranked team of the league, didn’t show up.

DalMed was scheduled to play the first game of the playoffs on March 24th, against Bobie, the fourth-ranked team of the league. But after an undefeated winning streak of seven games, DalMed skipped the finals altogether.

They were eliminated. As a result, Bobie, their would-have-been competitors, went to the final match automatically.

Jarett Richardson, who plays for Bobie, said he was pretty disappointed about the forfeit. “It happens to us every week. It’s pretty low-commitment. We just continue to show up.”

Richardson said this was the fourth or fifth forfeit his team has faced this season.

“This season is a lot worse than last season,” said Taylor Quinn, the handball referee. “I’d say the average week we have at least one forfeit, usually. The rough winter weather has been a factor. I’m very surprised that DalMed didn’t show for the semi-finals today.”

Action in the semi-finals

The second game of the day was between the Seadogs and the Multiple Scoregasms, and was played as scheduled.

After an almost non-stop game, the Seadogs came out on top, winning 15-9. The Multiple Scoregasms had been fighting to score the whole game, occasionally coming close to overtaking the scoreboard, but it was always just out of reach.

Finally, the finals

Then the Seadogs and Bobie took the court for the final; The second-ranked team in the league versus the fourth.

The ball was thrown high in the air, marking the beginning of the game. A player from each team jumped to pass it to their team, but the ball fell between the two of them. Nobody had touched it.

As both players realized what had happened, everyone in the Studley Gym laughed.

After its initial fumble, the game picked up a rapid pace. Both teams scored a point within the first minute of the game, but again, the Seadogs triumphed with a score of 13-9.

A friendly game

After the championship game, William Burt, who plays for the Seadogs, said that he was thrilled that DalMed had forfeited.

“We play them sometimes and it gets very rough, so to play a team like the Bobie team we just played, that was really friendly. A true, recreational intramural type of game was refreshing and fantastic.”

“The finals were really exciting,” said Quinn. “The teams that were in the finals, Bobie and the Seadogs, both really enjoy it and they have a lot of fun playing intramurals, which I think is the most important thing. They’re competitive, but they’re fun. It was just great to see two teams that always had a smile on their faces playing for the championship.”

Halifax hosts national CheerExpo

Cheerleaders and dancers from across Canada came to Halifax this past weekend to partake in the CheerExpo National Championships, the only event of its kind in the world.

By Catharina de Waal

Cheerleaders and dancers from across Canada came to Halifax this past weekend to partake in the CheerExpo National Championships, the only event of its kind in the world.

“It’s a conference and it’s a competition,” says Laura Mar, the president of CheerExpo Cheerleading and Dance Events Inc. “Nobody else does this. This is the only event in the world that does the classes with the competition.”

“There are some that do classes after the competition, but that requires people to stay an extra day and spend extra money. It’s just not affordable for teams to do it, so they don’t take advantage of it,” says Mar. “With this one, they are already here.”

The classes are aimed at teaching cheerleaders safety, new techniques, and better ways to do moves, says Mar. In addition, coaches also learn how to run, expand and advertise  their own cheer program.

CheerExpo a driving force

Mar says that CheerExpo has been a driving force behind the recent expansion of cheerleading in Canada.

“People can come out and learn what it is and realize that it is not just pompoms and cheers. It’s a lot more than that. It’s a sport,” says Mar. “More kids want to join cheerleading now. Coaches are more responsible and more knowledgeable.”

“Cheer is definitely something that has expanded. A lot of the teams are getting their own facilities, like their own gyms, and buying their own spring floors and equipment. Some of the coaches now host their own events after they come and see how I’m doing stuff,” says Mar.

CheerExpo was founded in Halifax in 2001 and Mar has also hosted CheerExpo in Montreal. Mar says she starts planning CheerExpo a year in advance and she hires judges and instructors from all over North America.

Any cheer and dance team in Canada can enter the competition. Mar says that roughly 20 per cent of the teams competing this year are from Halifax, but teams came from Ontario. One of the Ontario teams is Niagara Cheerleading Famous.

Cheerleading expanding

Sarah Macgillivray, 14, who has been on Niagara Cheerleading Famous for two years now, says, “Cheerleading has expanded a lot. In the U.S.A. it’s huge and in Canada it’s not really that big. In the last few years that I have been cheerleading there has been a huge increase.”

Teams at CheerExpo compete for bids to go to the cheerleading world championships in Disney World. This year was the first time that Niagara Cheerleading Famous competed for a bid to go to the world championships and also the first time the team attended CheerExpo. The team won their bid and will be competing at Disney World at the end of April.

“I love being on the team. Our team is like a family. We always stick together. It has been a really good experience over all,” says Macgillivray. “There are obviously times when it is stressful.  Sometimes you doubt yourself, but it’s overall one of the best things in the world to do.”

Injury prevention

Alison Fitzpatrick, one of the many cheer/dance wear vendors from across Canada who comes to CheerExpo, has also seen a huge increase in the cheer culture.

“My perception of cheer from about four years ago was you would see them in the parade with their pompoms walking and cheering or whatever. Not like this,” says Fitzpatrick. “These guys are athletes. They train and they do stuff that is dangerous. They could die if somebody dropped them.”

Disease can’t stop teen skier

Sit-skier Tanner Fandrey hopes to qualify for the national para-alpine race team after being diagnosed with a disease that kills his bones.

By Catharina de Waal

Keeping up with Tanner Fandrey is virtually impossible when he skies down the mountain at 110 kilometres per hour. He never hesitates catching air on a jump and he carves so tightly that snow clouds form when his elbows brush against the slope. This he does all on one ski, while sitting down.

Sixteen-year-old Fandrey, one of the youngest Canadians ever to be diagnosed with a genetic autoimmune disease called avascular necrosis, hopes to qualify for the Canadian national para-alpine race team this year. This is his third season skiing with a sit-skiing, also known as a bucket, and his second season skiing on the Alberta disabled race team.

“Luckily going really fast is my favourite thing,” says Fandrey. “When you go as fast as 110 km/hr you feel in control and completely out of control at the same time.  It’s amazing. I love it.”

“To make the national team you have to work your balls off,” says Fandrey, who is the only sit-skier on the Alberta disabled race team. “I still have three more races this year, so if I get under 200 points this year then I will train with the prospect team. That is what I’m working towards so I can make the national team.”

In para-alpine skiing, a skier receives 1,000 points at the start of the season. Depending on how a skier ranks in the race, points are subtracted from 1,000.  A first place finish will have more points subtracted than a second place finish. If a skier is unable to make it under 200 points in a season, they start back at 1,000 points the following year.


Fandrey says, “Skiing is a big part of my family culture. As soon as I could walk I was put on skies. So when I couldn’t ski standing up anymore because of my disease, I knew I had to figure out something to do. That is how I found the race team and I started skiing with a bucket.”

The disease

With avascular necrosis, cellular death occurs due to an interruption of the blood supply. This happens when the immune system attacks the body. In Fandrey’s case, it attacked his lower spine causing inflammation. There was no room for the inflammation to go except into both of his hip bones.

“As the inflammation kept building and building in my hips, it put pressure on all the blood vessels in my hips,” says Fandrey. “This is like putting an elastic band around your finger and cutting off your circulation. It did the same thing to my hip bones, killing the bones in both of my hips.”

In December, 2009, Fandrey had exploratory surgery on his right hip after experiencing extreme pain.  Doctors removed excess fluid in his hip but were baffled as to what was the cause of his pain since the hip bone looked normal.

“I couldn’t walk. I dragged my leg around everywhere,” says Fandrey. “When I moved my leg, there was this incredible pain because of all the pressure the inflammation put on the nerves.”

A year to the day later on Dec. 17, 2010, Fandrey’s other hip started to cause pain as well. He was referred to a specialist who did genetic testing and found the gene responsible for avascular necrosis. He was in stage three of a four-stage disease.

“Avascular necrosis usually happens in 70-year-old people.  My specialist had never seen it before in a person my age and to get it in both hips at the same time is unheard of,” says Fandrey. “At least now we can medicate it.”

The disease can’t be reversed, only prevented from getting worse. Fandrey is receiving an injection in his hip called Enbrel. That suppresses his immune system so it doesn’t attack his body. If his immune system is not controlled, the disease will fuse together the vertebrae in his spine to the point where he would no longer be able to turn his neck.

“One of the biggest things with this disease is that since it is in my spine, it actually affects my whole body,” says Fandrey.  “When I am driving down the road and I see bright lights, I will start crying instantly because the inflammation puts pressure on my optic nerves. It also puts pressure on the nerves going through my lungs, so if my spine is inflamed it will hurt when I breath.”

Standing, walking or jumping increases the inflammation in Fandrey’s hips and spine, which puts pressure on his nerves. This is why he must ski with a bucket.

The equipment

Fandrey’s bucket is a molded fibreglass seat attached to a dirt bike shock absorber that snaps into a binding. The binding is set to the maximum din of 20, compared to the 8 to 10 din that an average skier might use. The din determines how tight the binding holds the boot. This is done so that if Fandrey crashes, his ski will not dislodge from his bucket.

“As soon as I got my new bucket, I duct taped the whole thing up. If I crash and I don’t have the sides of the bucket duct taped next to the upper part of my legs, it rips apart the fibreglass,” says Fandrey.

A specific stiffer ski is then attached to the binding. A regular ski is designed to hold around 120 pounds per ski, but Fandrey puts 180 pounds on one ski. This is too much pressure for one edge and so if a regular ski was used, it would break.

To provide balance and pushing power, Fandrey uses two outriggers. These are like poles, but with small ski blades attached at the bottom.

“It took a long time to learn how to ski with a bucket. At first I was just side slipping and not really carving on an edge,” says Fandrey. “It was like that for the first year and then when I joined the racing team they really taught me how to reach out and carve on an edge. Carving probably took that entire next year to learn.”

After perfecting his carving, Fandrey started competing in races around the continent. On his bucket he has the logo sticker of every ski hill where he has skied with the team, making his bucket quite a colorful sight.

The races

The biggest racing event for Fandrey this season will take place in Park City, Utah, at the end of February. He will compete against skiers from across Canada, the U.S.A. and the world. He hopes to place in the top five in both slalom and giant slalom.

“Slalom has the smallest and tightest turns. I like slalom the best because I find that you have to be a lot quicker and a lot more aggressive than in giant slalom,” says Fandrey.

Fandrey races against individuals who have various degrees of disabilities, so he has to try to even out the playing field. Skiers are tested and ranked in different categories depending on how much muscle mass is affected by their specific condition. The less muscle mass a skier has, the higher factor a skier receives. The race time of a higher factor skier is decreased and the race time of a lower factor skier is increased.

The student

Fandrey is not just good at skiing. The grade 11 student is taking all International Baccalaureate courses at his high school in Red Deer, Alberta. He currently has an 86 per cent average even though he misses five weeks of school this year for skiing. After graduation, Fandrey plans to enroll in the engineering program at the University of Calgary.

“When I grow up I want to be a mechanical engineer. I want to build disabled sporting equipment,” says Fandrey. “The biggest benefit of me building disabled sporting equipment is that I can test it. Right now there isn’t one disabled sporting equipment designer out there that I know of that is actually disabled.”

The experience

Each year, if funds allow it, the team goes on a trip to a ski hill where they can train in the summer.

“This summer we are planning on going skiing in either Chile or New Zealand, which would be such a cool experience,” says Fandrey. “Or we might go to Mount Hood, which is in Oregon, where we went this past summer. You get to ski on a glacier. It’s really amazing.”

“Skiing on this team has really given me incredible experiences. I have gotten to see so many places. It really is a cool program and if I make the national team, it will only get better,” says Fandrey.


Dal athletes gone before new facilities built

Current students are excited about new athletic facilities, but they might not be around long enough to enjoy the changes.

by Hanna McLean

Dal athletes can expect great changes in their campus facilities. An air-supported bubble covering Wickwire Field, physiotherapy clinics, and two 2,500-seat basketball courts among them. Current students are excited about construction, but they might not be around long enough to enjoy the changes.

Dalhousie officials have about ten years of construction ahead of them. The fitness facilities are only one part of the plan for Dalhousie’s makeover, which extends to everything from traffic stops to students hubs.

The plan eliminates the Studley Gymnasium, converts the Sexton Memorial Gymnasium into a large assembly and lecture hall, and arranges team facilities for arena and Wickwire Field athletes.

There will also be a 149,000 square foot addition to the Dalplex, featuring the basketball courts, clinics for fitness, physiotherapy, wellness and sports medicine, a welcome centre, lounge and trophy exhibit, a daycare, as well as classrooms and offices for the Department of Health and Human Performance.

Dalhousie is implementing its campus development plan to keep the student population growing, but before it does, it wants to hear from current students. Throughout the month of March, the project development team is holding consultation sessions to get a better idea of the changes students would like to see.

“The first sessions, we had a less than anticipated turn out, some people said it was disappointing, so we changed our strategy and started going to where the students are, residences, classes, and the Dalplex,” says Nathan Rogers, Dalhousie’s new assistant director of capital planning.

Kinesiology student and frequent Dalplex user Jessie Bauer said at one consultation session, “I’d like to see more accessible and up-to-date cardio equipment and maybe some more classes like hot yoga, spinning, or body pump. Also some more sports-like facilities like updates to the squash courts and basketball courts.”

“There’s been a lot of talk about expansion of cardio space, that’s a well known issue,” says Rogers, “other highlights that I’ve heard about regularly are increases to the size of the climbing area, specifically being able to do top roping and bouldering, as well as dance studio space, yoga space.”

The students have spoken, and they had tons of requests to add to the already long list of changes, “This is a great new facility that’s going to have all kinds of natural light. Something that the students have been talking about is how depressing or dank the Dalplex can feel at times, so having a brand new sparkling facility that’s accessible, has lots of input from students, is for me the greatest part of this project,” says Rogers.

Second King’s Cup a success

Two teams faced off on the ice, competing for the glory of holding the King’s Cup. The winners? Alexandra Hall.

By Keili Bartlett

Sam Legere, captain of the Alexandra Hall team, with "WAR" on his jersey. (Keili Bartlett photo)

Two teams faced off on the ice, competing for the glory of holding the King’s Cup. The trophy is made out of a Garrison pitcher mounted on a wooden base.

A small, but rambunctious crowd gathered to cheer on their preferred residence’s team, calling for fights the entire game.

Alexandra Hall held the lead for most of the game, leaving the Bays scrambling to catch up.

In a last effort to win the game, the Bays’ pulled their goalie, adding an extra player with two minutes left on the clock. The move lost them the game.

Alexandra Hall won the second annual King’s Cup 4-2 on March 15th, closing the intramural hockey season at the University of King’s College.

“That’s the hardest hockey game I think I’ve played in a long time,” said Sam Legere, captain of Alexandra Hall.

The game was packed with action.

“We had fights, broken sticks, penalties, breakaways – the whole shebang,” said Christian Pollard, the Bays’ team captain.

“It was a full show.”

Fan cheers as Jake "Salty" Saltzman and Sam Legere are led to the penalty box following a fight. (Keili Bartlett photo)

“I feel great,” said Legere, who fought Jake ‘Salty’ Saltzman in the first period.

“I lost [the King’s Cup] last year, the first year we did it. For it to come back at all, let alone us win it, was awesome.”

A change of venue

Like all the league’s games, this year’s Cup, was hosted at the Halifax Forum due to the demolition of the Dalhousie Memorial Arena.

The King’s Cup had previously been held on St. Patrick’s Day. This year it was played two days prior in hopes of getting more fans to the game since the Forum is further from campus.

“We kind of knew going into it that we weren’t going to get that many fans out,” said Pollard.

“I mean, you can get buses and whatnot, but it’s only going to compare so much to being a five-minute walk away. So, we figured instead of making it on St. Patty’s Day, when people aren’t going to be willing to go, waste 20 minutes walking or half an hour walking, we’d do it on the day before and just try to have a really big party.”

St. Patrick’s Day fun

Even though the game wasn’t played on St. Patrick’s Day, the spirit of drinking was still present.

Alexandra Hall celebrates their victory. (Keili Bartlett photo)

“Anything you do on St. Patrick’s Day, you can assume there will be some drinking, especially if there’s students involved. Personally, I’m a big fan,” Pollard said, laughing. “But that’s what you get for St. Patty’s Day. Again, as long as no one’s dying or getting hurt, I’m happy.”

In the second period, a referee got ‘iced’. The referee had to chug a Smirnoff Ice on one knee.

Related audio


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Dylan McAteer, goalie for the Alexandra Hall team talks about the King’s Cup.

“The fact that he contributed like that and made it a real fan event, I just thought that was pretty awesome,” said Dylan McAteer, goalie of Alexandra Hall.

“I thought that was pretty awesome, although that probably goes against many of the waivers I’m sure I signed,” said Pollard, laughing.

“I was down with it. Anything that makes the King’s Cup a better time.”

Hockey Suspension Prompts Anti-hazing Precautions

The suspension of Dalhousie’s women’s hockey team has prompted policy changes across the board for Dal’s varsity sports programs.

By Hanna McLean

There’s some good news for Dalhousie’s women’s hockey team: their days of travelling by bus to Truro to play home games are over. According to a spokesperson at Dal, Saint Mary’s University will be hosting the women next year.

But that doesn’t mean the hockey team will not continue to be affected by the suspension of the majority of the players in January.

(Hanna McLean Photo)

Dalhousie suspended 17 out of 22 players in response to a complaint about an initiation party for the team in September. With only five rookies remaining on the team, the suspensions left the team with no choice but to forfeit the remainder of the 2012-2013 season.


Dalhousie’s Charles Crosby is the Senior Advisor of Media and official spokesperson for the university.  He says, “most of the players have indicated a clear desire to move forward. We share that goal.”

However, some people don’t seem to be over the incident. “We were shocked at the alleged events and suspicions that followed,” said Saint Mary’s University women’s hockey Head Coach Christopher Larade.

This shock echoed through the country and beyond. There were rumours of players consulting a lawyer after the suspension had been made official, but no legal action has been taken.


Crosby says the behavior of the women’s hockey team has prompted many changes for varsity teams.

“The coach is working with representatives from the university on developing positive team culture, an education program around hazing for all student teams, clubs, societies and leadership groups is under development for September,” he said.


To avoid any parental or overall community concerns about hazing, Crosby confirms there will be, “a more in-depth hazing policy, and a website for the university has been drafted and is being reviewed by administrators/legal to be completed by mid April for Senate approval.”

(Hanna McLean Photo)



Larade said Saint Mary’s has no plans to implement anti-hazing resources for their varsity teams, “I think it’s just making sure that players are aware of the expectations that are already put in place.”


Neil Hooper, President of the Atlantic Colleges Athletic Association, acknowledges that success can come from situations like this. “Often what you’ll find in sport are that a lot of the greatest programs we have develop out of adversity. Like the St. Thomas men’s volleyball team for example: they were suspended for a season, and they used it as a spring board to get better, their volleyball team won the championship the next year.”

All eyes will be on the ladies when next season starts up, and hopefully they can bounce back the way the St. Thomas volleyball team did. The Tigers, players, team and staff, have stopped talking to reporters on the matter.


Residence Charity Face-Off raises $16,000 for IWK

Dalhousie residence students competed in the eighth annual Residence Charity Face-Off at the Halifax Forum.

By Graeme Benjamin

The Big Horns celebrate after winning the Munro Cup (Graeme Benjamin photo)

Dalhousie residence students competed in the eighth annual Residence Charity Face-Off March 9 at the Halifax Forum, raising $16,000 for the IWK Health Centre Foundation.

For the first time in three years, the Big Horns, representing Risley, Eliza Ritchie, Glengary and Shirreff Halls walked away with the Munro Cup, winning 7-6 in a shootout over the Trojans.

Dalhousie residences have fundraised more than $128,000 for the IWK since 2008.

Joanna Hamilton, Manager of Annual Giving of the IWK Foundation, says the money raised goes to the specialized care fund. That helps pay for priority equipment and research.

“We are absolutely thrilled,” she says. “It’s only because of donors like Dalhousie who are fundraising for us all throughout the year that we are able to fund world class specialized care to Maritime woman, children, youth and families.”

Big Horns players celebrate after Haiden Goltz's overtime winner (Graeme Benjamin photo)

The Face-Off isn’t the only event at Dalhousie that raises money for the foundation. Dean Martin, the Residence Life Manager of Howe Hall, says there are several other fundraisers held within Howe and other residences.

“There’s a Casino Night being organized by the Big Horns and we’re hoping here in Howe Hall to have either a spaghetti dinner or pancake breakfast to raise funds,” he says.

The game was high scoring and action packed. The Trojans, made of students from Howe, Gerard, O’Brien and Mini Rez jumped out to an early two goal lead in the first. The Big Horns clawed their way back, scoring four unanswered to take a 4-2 lead heading into the third period.

The teams went back and forth in the third, netting two goals apiece in the first ten minutes. The Trojans nearly completed their comeback, tying the game at six and sending it into overtime.

Extra time solved nothing, forcing the first ever Face-Off shootout. The Trojans couldn’t get anything past Big Horns goaltender David Taylor and Haiden Goltz put in the game winner for the Big Horns.

The third period kept Trojans fans on their feet (Graeme Benjamin photo)

Martin says he was upset the Trojans lost, but in the end the game’s result doesn’t really matter.

“Obviously I wanted the Trojans to win,” he says. “But I think when it comes down to it everyone wins because the funds are going to a really good cause.”

Traditionally, the annual game has a spirited atmosphere, with Trojans and Big Horns fans sitting on opposite sides of the ice. Connor McPhail, a Trojan fan, was at the Face-Off for the first time. He says it wasn’t what he expected at all.

“Both sides of the stands were packed,” he says. “I know all my friends bought tickets and I know a few Big Horns fans that were going but I didn’t think it would be as full as it was.”

Martin says it’s likely the game will be held again next year.

“I know I and the IWK would be delighted if the event were to continue next year,” says Hamilton.

To donate to the IWK Foundation, visit

Dean Martin on the Residence Charity Face-Off

Dean Martin on the Residence Charity Face-Off





Sponsors pay bills for Dal sports

The Dal Tigers have partnered up with companies like Pepsi to offset some costs associated with varsity sports.

By Nicolas Haddad

Laura Brooks says ads don't faze her when she's out on the ice. (Nicolas Haddad photo)

No question about it: it’s expensive to be a varsity athlete. As always, there are financial costs and they can get pretty high when the time comes to buy a new pair of skates or a fresh pair of sneakers.

It also comes with an important time commitment. There are daily practices, afternoons spent in the gym, weekend road trips, and inevitably, injuries that come from repeatedly putting your body on the line.

At Dalhousie, the Tigers have partnered up with companies like Adidas, Pepsi, Metro, or The PhysioClinic to offset some of the costs associated with varsity sports.

But some Tigers athletes are unimpressed with their look this past year.

Laura Brooks just finished her first year playing defence for the Tigers women’s hockey team. Even off the clock as a varsity athlete, she says she always wears her team apparel, especially her Tigers winter jacket.  But it’s more about showing pride in her colours than keeping warm.

“I know a lot of girls [feel the same way]. I know it’s been the same jacket for a couple of years now though, so I think they want to switch it up and wear their own jackets now.”

According to Brooks, the novelty of their current uniform has long worn off.

“A lot of the first years and second years only wear it, I think the older girls are getting tired of them.”

You can find ads for the Tigers' sponsors all over the Dalplex. (Nicolas Haddad photo)

There’s also the issue of the Tigers Adidas training kits. They’re the same across the board for every sport.

“Adidas is so soccer. All the varsity teams have the same jackets, which is fine, but I mean it’s not very hockey. I know the guys’ team actually has a better tracksuit. It’s Adidas too actually, but it’s another material.”

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Laura Brooks, defence for the Tigers, talking about what she thinks of her team’s uniform and sponsors.

Adidas made headlines two weeks ago when, just ahead of March Madness, they unveiled new basketball uniforms for six flagship programs in the United States, including Notre Dame, Baylor and UCLA. Complete with kneepads, short sleeves and zebra-striped shorts, they’re a world away from the conventional style of a college varsity uniform.

If the Tigers Adidas kits look a bit generic, well, that’s because they are.

Adidas, the Tigers’ supplier for about 10 years now, has a select model of a particular uniform that they’ll adapt to all the schools that order them. Angela Barrett-Jewers, Dalhousie’s Manager of Varsity Marketing and Communications, compared it to buying a car: if you had a Honda Civic you bought in 2009, and now you want the new one, you’ll see a few changes of course, but it will mostly be the same as everyone else’s.  According to her, the Tigers coaches have the final say for things like uniform changes, and the truth is, they’re far more likely to allocate their budget to hiring support staff, or travelling to tournaments.

Some of the ads directed at active students aren't so subtle. (Nicolas Haddad photo)

She says the times have changed from when she played varsity volleyball for the Tigers. “Everything that wasn’t my uniform, I paid for myself.”

Compare that with Brooks, who doesn’t pay for her uniform, and can ask her coach to pay for up to two name-brand hockey sticks a year, and one pair of skates over her 5 years playing varsity hockey.

It shows that athletic sponsorship has actually allowed for improvement in how Dalhousie’s varsity sportsmen and women go through their experience. Laura Brooks said she was so thankful for her team’s sponsors, she would probably prefer them over other brands.

According to Barrett-Jewers,“That’s the right answer. ‘Tiger pride’ can also mean reaching for a Pepsi instead of a Coke. In the end, these companies need to make money, and this kind of loyalty goes a long way.”

Young Tigers squad fall in AUS basketball playoffs

The Dalhousie men’s basketball team failed to win an AUS championship, or even reach the semifinals for the second year in a row.

By Graeme Benjamin

Dal head coach John Campbell argues a call during the Tigers 78-70 win over the Axemen. (Graeme Benjamin photo)

The Dalhousie men’s basketball team failed to win an AUS championship, or even reach the semifinals for the second year in a row.

The fifth-seeded St. Francis Xavier X-Men defeated the fourth-seeded Dalhousie Tigers 78-70 in the quarter-final at the Halifax Metro Centre March 1. Jeremy Dunn and Tyrell Vernon led the charge for St. FX with 17 points each, while Dal’s Hassan Abdullahi’s 20 points made him the game’s highest scorer.

Dal entered the fourth quarter down 14 points. Led by Abdullahi and Kashrell Lawerence, the Tigers went on a 15-2 run, placing them within one with less than five minutes to play. Dunn then made two clutch buckets beyond the arc, putting the X-Men up seven and sealing the Tigers’ fate.

Dal head coach John Campbell had mixed emotions at the end of the game, but overall was pleased with his team’s performance.

“We dug ourselves into a pretty big hole but I’m proud of the guys for coming back in the fourth quarter,” he said, “But you can’t expect to win against good teams when you’re that inconsistent.”

Related Audio


John Campbell Post-Game Comments
John Campbell Interview

Steve Konchalski, the 38-year veteran coach of St. FX, complimented the Tigers on their late game push. He said the second half has always been difficult for his squad because his team lacks depth.

“We’ve led all good teams in the league by double digits in the second half but because our team doesn’t have a deep bench, the other teams wear us down,” said Konchalski.

With the win, the X-Men advanced to the semifinals against the first-ranked Cape Breton Capers. CBU won the game 80-70.

Tigers’ Season

The Tigers had a late season surge that saw them win five of their last six regular season games. Foreshadowing the championship game, they lost only to St. FX. In their last regular season match, they beat the Acadia Axemen 78-70. The Axemen, at the time, were ranked fourth in Canada.

The Dalhousie squad fell victim to the injury bug in the later part of the season. Devon Stedman had an ongoing knee injury and point guard Derek Norris broke his hand in January. Campbell said these obstaces were difficult to deal with entering the tournament.

“Stedman has a 50-year-old knee on a 20-year-old body,” says Campbell. “Derek’s injury caused us a lot of challenges with depth but I think Matt Morrison did an excellent job in his place.”

Konchalski believes it was the inexperience of the Tigers, and not their coaching, which led to their downfall.

Related Audio


Steve Konchalski Post-Game Comments
Steve Konchalski Interview

“At the beginning of the year I don’t think too many people assured them of a playoff spot necessarily,” he says. “But Campbell made them one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the league.”

The Saint Mary’s Huskies provided the upset of the tournament, defeating the third-seeded UPEI Panthers 77-76. The match came down to the final seconds and after a controversial travelling call on UPEI, the Huskies came out with the win.

CBU hoists the AUS Championship Trophy after beating the Acadia Axemen 83-75 (Graeme Benjamin photo)

The Finals

The Capers and the Acadia Axemen battled it out in the final. CBU finished their regular season with a 19-1 record, losing only to Acadia.

Cape Breton was on the winning end of the 83-75 final score. James Dorsey was named Player of the Game, scoring 30 points and going 16-16 on the foul line.

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James Dorsey After Winning Championship
Dorsey Championship Comments

As the final buzzer sounded, Capers head coach Matt Skinn dropped to his knees and fist-pumped the air in celebration.

“I’m an alumni of the program so to not do it as a player and to be able to bring it home as a coach is really special,” says Skinn.

The Capers and the Axemen will both compete in the CIS championships in Ottawa beginning March 8 at Carleton University. Cape Breton enters the tournament ranked second and takes on Lakehead University in their quarterfinal match. The Axemen are seeded fifth and will face UBC in their opening game.

Money woes kill cheerleaders’ dreams

Halifax’s largest cheerleading competition was held last weekend, and while some were dusting off their pom-poms, others were forced to watch from the sidelines due to lack of money .

Cheer Expo 2012 logo

By Courtney Zwicker

Halifax’s largest cheerleading competition was held last weekend, and while some  were dusting off their pom-poms, others were forced to watch from the sidelines due to lack of money .

The ninth annual Halifax Cheer Expo Grand Championships were held at the Halifax Forum.

Kristina Conway, cheerleader for the Central King’s Gators, says her team didn’t make it to the competition this year because they didn’t collect enough money.

“With just buying uniforms and three more mats we couldn’t afford it this year.”

Coached by Megan Sheppard, this is the first year the Gators have ever had a cheerleading team.

Conway says each team member paid a fee of $75 to be on the team. With that money, each member received a hat and sweater with the remaining money going to uniforms.

The average price for one cheerleading uniform is approximately $100.

Related Resources
Cheer Expo 

Nova Scotia Cheerleading Club Association

West Halifax Cheerleading

The Gators Cheerleading Squad at their last competition (Kayla Harvey photo)

Conway says her team sold flowers for Valentines Day, organized a turkey dinner and has a ham dinner in the works in order to raise money.

Erica Royal, president of the Nova Scotia Cheerleading Club Association and coach of the Halifax West Cheerleading club, sympathizes with teams that can’t afford to make it to all the competitions.

Halifax West Cheeleading at Cheer Expo 2012 (Halifax West Cheerleading photo)

“Cheer Expo is definitely an expensive competition compared to the rest of them. The only thing I can recommend is that they have to decide whether or not it’s worth it. Maybe they have to sacrifice a couple other competitions to go.”

According to the Nova Scotia School Competitive Cheerleading Association , standard competition fees are $300 for a school entering either a junior high or senior high team and $550 for a school entering a team in both divisions.

Royal says the cost of Cheer Expo is nearly tripled. She advises teams to do as much fundraising as they can.

According to Royal, what makes Cheer Expo special is its size.

“If teams are coming from outside provinces to compete it’s usually that one. There are about 100 teams at this competition. There are usually only between 40 and 60 at other competitions. It’s got the concert type lighting and the huge backdrop.”

At the competition there are also classes for spectators and athletes to participate in.

The Gators have made it to one competition so far this year, and they have one more planned for April.

“I’m pumped for our next competition,” says Conway.

Conway says her team’s goal is to keep raising money and compete at Cheer Expo 2013.

Related audio
Erica Royal talks about Cheer Expo and team budgeting

Dal sailing team ready for spring

With warm days ahead, the Dalhousie Sailing Team will be out again.

By Carlie Connolly

With warm days ahead, the Dalhousie sailing team will be out again.

The university’s competitive team travels to New England to sail against American universities. A Canadian Intercollegiate Sailing Association started up recently and “We look to represent Dalhousie at Canadian regattas this year in Ontario and Quebec,” Hall says.

Last year, the keelboat athletes attended the Student Yachting World Cup in France. They qualified again this year. They’ll return to France in October.

Warmer weather lets people enjoy sailing in March (Carlie Connolly Photo)

Sailing at Dalhousie can be geared toward both recreational and competitive sailors, which is great news for both.

Justin Hall, a Planning student in his fourth year, is an executive member of the Dalhousie sailing team. He says students don’t need their own boat to sail and that transportation is included to the area by a water taxi. “It’s a pretty interesting perspective of the arm seeing it from on the water opposed to on the shore,” he says.

Weather is a key factor to enjoyable sailing. “A couple of years ago, our last day of sailing was Halloween and there was ice in the boats when we showed up that morning,” he says.

Related Audio: Justin Hall talks to Peninsula News about sailing.



King’s Cup marks end of King’s intramural hockey season

The University of King’s College’s intramural hockey season ended in a Team 1 victory. They beat Team 2 with a score of 3-2 in the King’s Cup on March 17 and won the trophy, a Garrison Brewing Company beer pitcher on a wooden plaque.

Team 1 (blue) and Team 2 (white) play in the King's Cup (Amaris Bourdeau photo)

By Amaris Bourdeau

The University of King’s College’s intramural hockey season ended in a Team 1 victory.

They beat Team 2 with a score of 3-2 in the King’s Cup on March 17 and won the trophy, a Garrison Brewing Company beer pitcher on a wooden plaque.

Having ended the game at the hour mark rather than the end of the third period, many of the players from Team 2 hoping for possible redemption were disappointed.

“We weren’t expecting a half-time break, so if that were to have been cut out, we could have at least finished our game,” said Alex MacDonald, defenceman for Team 2. “A shorter break could have made a difference in determining whether we win or lose.”

Regardless of their loss, Team 2 left the final game happy with their season.

Related audio

Charlotte Wilson, Team 2, talks about the King’s Cup.

The loss of the King’s Cup was a shame, said MacDonald, but considering the point of the league is to play the game and enjoy oneself, the season went well.

The team played well considering the minimal amount of practices, said Team 2’s Charlotte Wilson.

“It sucks that we lost, but the season was overall a lot of fun and I’m definitely going to be coming back next year,” said Wilson.