Commitment, dedication and just plain hard work has paid off for four local high school students. Cathedral’s Natasha Thomson, Saltfleet’s Keith Garbett, St. Mary’s Cameron Pearson, and Hill Park’s Stacy Robertson are this year’s recipents of the Mohawk College Students’ Athletics Committee (SAC) High School Leadership awards.
The annual award is in recognition of a student’s leadership and participation during their high school years, not only as a competitor but as a promoter of athletics and related activities. The students were nominated by their schools.
Cam Pearson’s countless volunteer hours in support of all athletics at St. Mary’s did not go unnoticed. He was the lynchpin for the school’s sound and audio crew and has single-handedly set up assemblies, athletic events and school demonstrations. He supervised a crew of five or six volunteers who made each of these events a true success. In addition, Pearson was a member of the student council and played in varsity athletics.
Keith Garbett was a five-year member of the school’s successful rugby team, which won an OFSAA title. As a rugby team member he was also involved in coaching and refereeing in Saltfleet’s feeder school rugby program. He received his refereeing license through the rugby focus classes. Garbett was a member of two division and two city championship teams and using that experience he has refereed for the past three years in the Billy Green Flag Football Tournament. Keith also played badminton for the past three years and assisted in running the school’s local feeder tournament. Academically, Garbett has also participated in a leadership program and completed a co-op placement in an elementary feeder school.
Stacy Robertson earned her SAC honour because of her vigourous participation in all of Hill Park’s activities available to her. She is one of the school’s few students to receive an Outstanding Contributor Award at their athletic banquet. Although she has tremendous athletic talents, Robertson will be most remembered for her enthusiasm, motivation of others and an infectious smile that was her trademark. She volunteered on numerous occasions to ‘be’ the Ram (the school mascot) at fund raising or spirit events and was always supportive of others at sporting events on those rare situations when she was not playing. Stacy twice registered in the Peer Helper course at Hill Park, where she helped and mentored other students in the junior grades.
Cathedral’s Natasha Thomson has been involved in cross country, basketball, volleyball, slo-pitch, soccer, track and field. In each of those sports, Thomson has been a team leader in many ways: When a score was needed, Thomson stepped forward; when a spot had to be filled in a track meet, regardless of the event, Thomson would step forward. During the elementary school basketball season, she co-ordinated the operation of one of the gyms, and organized and scheduled the student referees, score keepers and snack booth vendors.
Thomson also co-chaired a new school initiative program for girls, called Feel Fit, Feel The Power. She helped coordinate weekly activities, advertisements and solicited sponsorship for a launch event that took place in May. Thomson was named the school’s Athlete of the Year in 2005, and has won MVP honours in both basketball, volleyball and track.