Turner earns OUA recognition

McMaster Marauders women’s rugby player Natasha Turner is being recognized Tuesday (May 8) by Ontario University Athletics. She is one of the top female scholar-athletes from across the province feted at a luncheon in Huntsville.

The event honours female student-athletes who have excelled in their chosen sports, fields of study, and community involvement.

Turner, a recent grad from Mac’s Honours Arts/Science program is a three-time Dean’s Honour List student, Marauder Scholar and Academic All-Canadian. Her outstanding academic average and achievements are even more impressive when viewed beside her athletic excellence. Not only was she named the 2010 OUA Russell Division’s Most Valuable Player, but she also added her first CIS All-Canadian selection and picked up another one in 2011).

Turner is heavily involved in the department’s recreation side, as co-president of McMaster’s Outdoor Club and facilitator with the Altitude program. The Rockcliffe native has represented Canada with the national development team and while her immediate future plans haven’t been determined, possibilities include graduate work abroad and training with Team Canada in British Columbia.

In a question and answer session, as part of the OUA’s Women of Influence series, Turner said her proudest academic achievement was completing her thesis. “I worked really hard on it all year and I was extremely happy and proud when I finally handed it in and finished it.”

On the athletic side, her proudest athletic achievement came when the rugby team qualified for Nationals this past season. “We have been working to qualify for the entire five years that I’ve been at McMaster and finally doing it this year was an inexplicably amazing achievement.” Turner plays the No. 8 position.

She will always remember her community work while at Mac, especially organizing the Bi-Annual Cootes Clean-up. “Seeing the 30 or so people coming out for our post cleanup BBQ. It was a beautiful day and cool to see so many people out cleaning up our backyard paradise.”

The woman who most influenced Turner in her rugby career was her high school coach, Jen Boyd. “She instilled a drive for success, a hard work ethic and a passion for rugby in me that are three of the biggest reasons I’ve been able to be successful in the sport.”