The CIS All-Canadian and Awards banquet for women’s basketball took place in Fredericton on Wednesday night, on the eve of the quarterfinal round of the ArcelorMittal Dofasco CIS women’s basketball championship. Ottawa’s Krista Van Slingerland received the Tracy MacLeod Award for dedication and perseverance.
CHAMPIONSHIP WEBSITE: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/wbkb/index
Van Slingerland is a co-founder of the non-profit organization SAMHI (The Student Athlete-Mental Health Initiative), which over the past two years has grown a network of ambassadors across the country focussed on improving the services offered to student-athletes dealing with mental health issues. SAMHI strives to reduce the stigma of mental illness, improve access to resources, and advocate for the mental well-being of student athletes.
The fifth-year wing from Waterloo, Ont. native missed 10 weeks in the fall after suffering a concussion during preseason which resulted in severe symptoms. She appeared in 13 regular season games, bringing tenacity and veteran presence each time she stepped onto the court. She also made a return to the hardcourt with the Gee-Gees in 2014-15 after a year off from basketball due to mental illness. Van Slingerland, who is currently completing a human kinetics masters, has been accepted into a PhD program and will continue her research.
"Krista has defined the expression of giving back when it comes to her contribution to CIS athletics as a whole. So many people have seen the impact of her work. We speak frequently about leaving a legacy, and her leadership and courage with SAMHI will leave a legacy all over Canada,” said Gee-Gees head coach Andy Sparks. "It’s been a great experience having her as part of the team and we are very proud to support her.”
The Gee-Gees are in Fredericton to compete as the seventh seed at the Final 8 after finishing as OUA silver medallists. Ottawa will face Saskatchewan in the quarter-final round on Thursday at 1 p.m. (12 ET) with live coverage on CIS-SIC.tv.