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Uottawa

Question Period: Christie Ruck (Colmer)

Monday February 1, 2016
Heart of a Gee-Gee Logo + photo of Colmer and her family.

Christie Colmer joined the Gee-Gees women’s basketball team in 1998-99, one of four first-years that season along with Kim Mathieu, Jen Budd, and Amanda Teaffe. Originally from Peterborough, Ont., Colmer travelled extensively after graduating from uOttawa and became a teacher after attending Queen’s for education. She now runs a basketball camp in her hometown every summer which is free for participants. Colmer, now Ruck, is married with two young daughters, Victoria and Claire.

What is your best memory of your time spent with the Gee-Gees?
My teammates. Being a part of a team is such a special thing. You spend so much time together they become like your family. So many memories of laughter, funny stories, great road trips, and getting each other pumped up before games in the locker room or on the court.

What would your former Gee-Gees teammates be surprised to find out about you?
I have always been extremely close with my family, and spent any time off from school or the team traveling back home to visit them. Two years after graduating teachers college, I moved to South Korea on my own and taught English there for 1.5 years. Amazing experience, and really brought out my love for exploring other cultures and traveling.

What did you go on to do after graduation?
After completing my Bachelor of Science (Human Kinetics) Degree at Ottawa, I was accepted into a specialized program at Queen’s University where I completed my Bachelor of Education.

After that, I wanted to find a way of combining my love for teaching, my faith, as well as my passion for coaching/playing basketball. Along with being hired by a couple of local school boards as a supply teacher, I started a free one week Summer Basketball Camp for kids through my church in downtown Peterborough. I wanted to pass along my love for ball, as well as give an opportunity for kids to attend a camp that they may otherwise not be able to afford. We started as a camp of 15 kids, and this past summer ran our 13th camp, with over 80 participants and 20 volunteer youth and adult leaders.

Who or what inspires you the most?
People who are passionate about serving/helping others both locally within a community, as well as globally. Especially those who don’t have very much of their own, but still have the passion and desire to find ways to bless and encourage others.

What are you most proud of?
I have been proud to share with others that I was a member of the Gee-Gees women’s basketball team. The journey I have been on since graduating has been a great one, too. Definitely some ups and downs, but I have been blessed with unique opportunities and have met many fantastic people through traveling, and working in different cities/countries. Then I am proud to say I met my wonderful husband and we have two beautiful little girls.

How did interuniversity sports affect your life both during your studies and afterwards?
Being a part of a university team definitely helped me with my time management and organizational skills. It also helped develop my love for sports and playing basketball. With knowing how much of a positive experience it was to play a sport at that level, it has been a big incentive to continue to encourage kids who I teach to work hard and consider getting involved in team sports when they can. My love for basketball is also passed along during Living Hope Basketball Camp each summer which I founded and have been running for the past 13 years.

What piece of advice would you give to Gee-Gees about life after graduation?
It’s tough right at the beginning. University life is unique when you’re constantly surrounded by other people your age, living a similar lifestyle. Then real ‘grown up’ life happens, looking for work, deciding where to live, being fully independent. Figure out the things that you really are passionate about, and continue to make them a part of your life. Whether that be helping others, traveling, playing sports, whatever it may be. And work towards finding a job that you enjoy and makes you happy. This for me has always been very important.