Due to a long history of sexism in sports, women’s athletics aren’t usually given the credit they deserve. Sports have been male-dominated for over a century, but there have been recent initiatives to help change this.
Over the past few weeks the introduction of the three-on-three women’s competition during the National Hockey League All-Star weekend or greater appreciation and focus for competitive women’s national teams such as the past World Cup victory by the United States soccer and continued success by Canadian Hockey teams in the Olympics. With the increased wages in the Women’s National Basketball Association having just been announced in January 2020, we are slowly making progress in climbing to equal pay in comparison to male major league sports counterparts. The WNBA announcement comes at no better time as Feb. 6 marks U Sports’ celebration of 100 years of women’s Canadian Interuniversity Sports basketball.
On Feb. 6, 1920, the Queen’s Gael’s and the McGill Martlets played the first women’s varsity basketball game. With that U Sports has decided, starting on Feb. 6, to list off the top 100 players in the history of Canadian collegiate basketball with decisions being made by a panel of women’s basketball coaches and partners.
With this upcoming anniversary in mind, the Silhouette looked back at a few of the most successful and dominant players in the program’s recent history.
Hilary Hanaka was the leader of last year’s national championship team in. The five-year star played from 2014-2019 at McMaster, has a filled-to-the-brim stats sheet and a fully stocked trophy wall. Having won a national championship and a, Critelli Cup trophy, Hanaka also made the OUA All-Rookie team, was a two year Ontario University Athletics All-Star and an All-Canadian player. By the time she graduated there wasn’t much left for Hanaka to accomplish. Her individual accomplishments include the Sylvia Sweeney Award, the national award for academic/athletic excellence from U Sports and service to the community, and the Joy Bellinger Award presented by the OUA to a student-athlete who excels in academics, athletics and community service.
Hanaka had a great impact on the court, in the classroom and in the community. Having broken McMaster’s ten year losing streak in the Critelli Cup and bringing home the teams first ever national championship would be enough to be on the Marauders record books on its own. The addition of her off-the-court achievements is what makes her the first player to make our list.
The second player who comes to mind is Danielle Boiago, who should need no introduction. In the five years that she played for McMaster from 2012 to 2017, she dominated Burridge. Since the first day she stepped on the court as a Marauder, she was a dominant guard averaging 15.5 points a game combined with 53 steals, 46 assists and a total of 340 points in her first season. She was only getting started. Impressive is a word that does not live up to her presence on the court and her importance to the team, being the first player in program history to win the Nan Copp Award as women’s U Sports player of the year in 2017. This year she averaged 25.5 points a game and she became McMaster’s all-time leading scorer with 1,719 points, which gives a better idea of her prowess. This is among the awards she gathered in addition to the four time All-Star and an All-Rookie team nod in the OUA.
After accepting a contract to play professional basketball in the Netherlands, Boiago played ten games for Holland’s Royal Eagles and averaged a staggering 16 points per game. She eventually returned to the Marauders as an assistant coach. She has given to the team on and off the court, but also for her country. She played five games on Team Canada in the 2018 CommonWealth Games, where they lost in the bronze medal game to New Zealand and finished fourth in the tournament overall.
The third player which led the Marauders in recent history is Chiarra Rocca. Now inducted into the McMaster Athletics Hall of Fame, she played from 2004-2008 while racking in a mountain of achievements. She led the team to win two OUA championships in 2007 and 2008 and a CIS bronze in 2008, secured in part by her defensive prowess and soft touch shot. She was an all-star from the moment she dressed up in maroon and grey, as she made the OUA All-Star team in her first season as well as the CIS All-Rookie-team and was also lauded by the province, earning the OUA rookie of the year award. Later in her career, she made the OUA all-star team three more times, making her an OUA all-star in every season she played. As mentioned, she was quite the defensive force. This won her the OUA and CIS defensive player of the year in 2006 along with the team MVP. When she graduated she was the all-time leader for rebounds in the OUA at 760 total, a title which she still holds today.
As we look back at 100 years of women’s basketball we also look back at the greatness that has walked the halls of DBAC and occupied Burridge gym. The women’s basketball team has had many prominent players dress in maroon and grey and there are probably many more to come. Here’s to appreciating the women in sports who fight for equality and recognition. McMaster has had their fair share and all of them should get the recognition they deserve.
The night of April 2 was the 95th Annual McMaster Athletic Awards Ceremony to celebrate Marauder excellence. The ceremony celebrated McMaster athletes and staff contributions on and off the court over the past year.
The highest honour, the McMaster Athletes of the Year, was awarded to Max Turek (Ivor Wynne Award) of the cross country team, and Linnaea Harper (Therese Quigley Award) of the women’s basketball team. Both led their team to Ontario University Athletics titles, and Harper went one step further, helping bring home the U Sports title for her team.
Graduating seniors Hilary Hanaka, starting guard of the women’s basketball team, and Andrew Richards, men's volleyball’s starting left side, took home the outstanding graduating student-athlete awards, the Dr. Edna Guest and Dr. Ray Johnson Awards, respectively.
Both athletes have displayed outstanding on- and off-court excellence. Richards and Hanaka had already been recognized by U Sports for their community work this season, so it was only fitting that they took home this honour as well.
McMaster's Rookies of the Year award the Mel and Marilyn Hawkrigg Award, was given to lacrosse player Mitch Pellarin and wrestler Ligaya Stinellis. Stinellis captured a silver medal in the 48kg weight class in her first trip to the OUA Championships, and made McMaster history by becoming the first Marauder woman to win the conference’s Rookie of the Year award.
Pellarin ended the season as McMaster’s leading scorer with 19 goals and 11 assists, which was the highest scoring total among rookies in the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association.
Claudia Continenza, of the women’s soccer team, took home the Les Prince Award for her community service work, and women's hockey president and student therapist Laura Gelowitz won the Bruce Cochrane award for her service to the Athletics Department.
The Joyce Wignall Award, given to a team in recognition of their charitable contributions as a group, was given to the McMaster men’s rugby team for their various charitable efforts throughout the year.
Last night #MarauderNation gathered to celebrate a fantastic year full of great accomplishments by our student-athletes, both on and off the field. Here’s a recap of how the night went down! Thanks to all that attended! 🎉
— McMaster Marauders (@McMasterSports) April 3, 2019
The night of celebrating excellence was capped off by awarding 51 team MVPs from McMaster's sport teams at the varsity and club level, student-athletes who have competed for four seasons while maintaining good academic standing and coaches who have reached benchmarks in their years of service.
All in all, whether athletes had their their season cut short, or managed to come out on top as provincial or national champions, the annual Awards Ceremony once again rightfully honoured the hard work put in by all the various members of the Marauders athletic community over the past year.
By: Jana Getty
On March 12, MacAfricans, in association with the President’s Advisory Committee to Building an Inclusive Community and McMaster Students Union President Chukky Ibe, hosted the first inaugural Maroon in Black formal.
Maroon in Black aimed to “create a space to celebrate the accomplishments and achievements of black students, faculty, alumni, and staff” according to MacAfricans Co-President Sara Mustafa. The event issued awards to black McMaster community members who have excelled.
During the year, many events have taken place aimed to celebrate minorities on McMaster campus. However, according to Mustafa, there has never been an event at McMaster aimed at celebrating black individuals. In its inaugural year, the Maroon in Black formal filled a niche that was long overdue.
“We hoped that we created a space where we can acknowledge and celebrate one another. Many of the award recipients have achieved great things and it is important for the McMaster community to know of their achievements and it is important for us to acknowledge them,” said Mustafa. “When black people go to similar events, they are always the minority. At the Maroon in Black Formal, that was not the case and that’s what made it so unique and wonderful.”
The event follows those held at other universities, which have sought to highlight black students and their successes, such as the University of Toronto’s black graduation ceremony held in June 2017.
The event was organized to create a safe space where black students, staff and McMaster alumni could acknowledge and celebrate each other. In an environment where the voices of a minority are often lost in the crowd, this event turned the spotlight on many important achievements of the black community.
Awards of the night included the graduate academic and graduate community service award, won by Akua Pepra; undergraduate community service won by Sahra Soudi; the black aspiring physicians at McMaster for the undergraduate academic year award, won by Sebat Mohamed and Sonia Igboanugo. Awards were also issued to faculty members, such as Dr. Juliet Daniels, who won the “mom” award, an award for those who actively mentored others in the community or allies that have taken the extra task of active advocacy and support for McMaster students.
On top of awards being issued, there were also talks given by prominent black McMaster community members.
Ibe gave a speech, as did other students active in the McMaster community such as Mustafa and Jordan Lentinello. The formal also heard speeches from distinguished McMaster alumni, such as Omobola Olarewaju, Leo Johnson and Tumi Adegoroye.
MacAfricans will continue to hold events throughout the year meant to acknowledge an empower the black students on campus. Their next event is Afrofest, a large theatrical event that celebrates African culture through acting, singing, dancing and modelling.
All the content is written and performed by McMaster students and the proceeds are donated to the Empowerment Squared charity, an organization created by McMaster alumni.
In a school that prides itself on its acceptance and diversity within its population, an event that celebrates the achievements of one of it’s minority populations was long overdue. Maroon in Black was a memorable night celebrating students whose acknowledgement was well deserved.
Mezcal 150 James Street South
At the young age of five months, Mezcal is already an exciting addition to Hamilton’s restaurant scene. It offers a variety of Mexican-style cuisine as well as an impressive selection of tequila.
Upon arrival, we ordered a variety of house-recommended tacos (pictured on the following pages) as well as the most satisfying of the dishes, a seasonal Huevos tortas (pictured here). The tortas was a delicious layering of a blue corn tortilla with avocado, salsa, seasoned pork, lettuce and house crema sauce. It tasted great and was a reasonable price for a filling and sizeable dish.
The menu and decor are more Mexican-inspired than truly Mexican, but it is still a delicious menu with a tasteful and artistic atmosphere. Definitely worthy of several Instagrams.
Best Menu Variety
Mex-I-Can 34 Hess Street South
Crank up the Paulina Rubio and enjoy one of the many platters offered up by this Hamilton classic. Mex-I-Can has been in the Steel City for 22-years, having formerly been located on James Street North. The owners recently opened the doors to their new space on Hess this summer.
I have had a variety of meals from Mex-I-Can and have never left feeling dissatisfied. They offer both vegetarian and meat tacos served with classic rice and refried beans. They are cheesy and meaty and wonderful, and although their meats can seem a bit greasy, they definitely make for great comfort food.
The service can be hit or miss, and a few dishes are priced a bit high for what they’re worth, but overall it’s a good experience with plates for every palate.
Ole Gourmet 82 Locke Street South
Ole Gourmet’s Locke Street location is just one of their three store fronts. The now Hamilton chain also has stores at 174 Highway 8 and 473 King Street West, with the latter being their newest spot with added seating.
Ole sells a variety of tacos at super reasonable prices — think two chicken or steak tacos for $3.99. Their Locke Street location is quite small and is really more of a take-out location than a sit-down restaurant. Their tacos have thick, soft shells and they’re willing to pile on the cilantro if you’re in the mood for a kick of flavour. Their shop on Locke is easy to get to with the HSR and best of all, they also have fresh and fast churros.
Best Hidden Gem
Papagayo 246 King Street West
Papagoya has been located on King for the last 15 years, but can be easily glossed over when riding the bus or running to McDonalds. As a person who takes great pride in keeping up with restaurants in Hamilton, I was pleasantly surprised to discover Papagoya a few weeks ago. The interiors of the restaurant are charming and colourful with a large selection of chili-themed art and tapestries. If you’ve always wanted to see a light fixture made of hundreds of plastic chilis, go here, you will not be disappointed. The service is fast and friendly and they offer delicious soft tacos along with other great dishes like fresh mussels, chimichangas and chili cheesecake.
Best One-Off Menu Item
Thirsty Cactus 2 King Street East
Known for their pool tables and Tex-Mex cuisine, hidden in the Thirsty Cactus’ menu is a great fish taco dish. With blue corn tortillas, tilapia and cilantro, their fish tacos are a great option for those of you who just aren’t in the mood for an oversized portion of pulled pork. It’s their only taco-like option, but the dish is generous with three stuffed tacos at $10. The only downfalls are that it is technically not in Hamilton (read: Dundas), and sometimes they leave their tortillas out too long and they get weird and crumbly.
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With this year’s Grammys set to air on Feb. 8, and the Oscars following shortly after on Feb. 22, I can’t help but ask myself the same question I ask every year: do awards shows matter? More specifically, do these programs represent the interests of both audiences and creators?
Yes, awards shows are made to entertain and advertise the nominees various products, but do they not also exist to give people something to aspire to? If that is the case, it’s clear award shows are failing these people, and have been for several years. Despite Lupita Nyong’o winning the award for Best Supporting Actress at last year’s Oscars, she remains only the sixth black actress to win the award in history.
To me, there is something inherently problematic about valuing an institution that has existed for 87 years that acknowledges minority talents less than one percent of the time. More importantly, there is something equally troubling about labeling this award as something to aspire to. Unfortunately, people will defend this visible racial bias as something merely reflecting panelists’ personal tastes. Some believe this discrepancy doesn’t neglect minorities for personal reasons, but merely chooses the most deserving candidate that just happens to be white almost every time.
While that defence is obviously flawed, it isn’t the only area award shows fail in. Awards shows are too often completely out of touch with the current generation’s culture, racial bias or not.
In the case of the Grammys, its voting panel has been disconnected with music, particularly with hip-hop, for the last 20 years. In fact, awards for the rap genre have only existed since 1989, despite its dominance, and at the time only included a single award category for Best Rap Performance. Though years have passed, and though they have since added the best album and song categories, some of their decisions have been questionable.
The Grammys in particular seem trapped in the tastes of those who run them. For example, in 1994 when Ready to Die, Illmatic and Outkast’s debut record were released, the judges felt Tony Bennett was more deserving of album of the year. Even in 2014 the rock music categories were not dominated by upcoming artists, but by Paul McCartney and Led Zeppelin. Somehow, a re-release of the latter’s music from the 70s beat out newer artists to win an award in 2014.
What makes it worse is that these decisions don’t reflect sales, something that would be vaguely justifiable. For example, in 2001 the release of The Marshall Mathers LP lost Album of the Year to Steely Dan, despite being the best-selling record of the year. This means that not only do these decisions not reflect a nominee’s influence on the current generation, they don’t even reflect what the generation was interested in buying.
This kind of issue is unsurprising, as diversity is uncommon among those in power. For instance, the L.A. Times reported that the people who select the Oscar nominees and winners are 94 percent “white,” with 77 percent of the members being male, with an average age of 62. Because of this, I have a hard time believing these prestigious award shows represent anyone who isn’t an old white guy. While I may feel differently when I’m an old white guy, that’s certainly a problem to me now.
So to answer my earlier question of whether awards shows matter or not is tricky. To me they can only matter if they are something every person in the industry can realistically aspire to win. Right now, I do not believe this is the case. Until then, I’ll continue not taking these programs seriously, because if I wanted to know what a bunch of old white guys thought about music or movies, I would just ask my relatives at Christmas.
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When one is violently bed-ridden (by a sickness, not a serial killer, of course), there are few avenues for entertainment at hand. So from my choices I tried to select the one that was least likely to send me into a slumberous stupor. Alas, I fialed. This is my experience watching the 2012 Golden Globes.
The Hollywood Foreign Press hands out these pristine statuettes to the actors, actresses and even disappointment-bound act-kids that they deem, through some voodoo clandestine methods, are most deserving of the notoriety and precious stage presence the award entails.
On that note, I come to what is the most noticeable problem with the gala, which is the gush-heavy, smug-breeding acceptance speeches.
Given the star-struck nature of the average North American citizen, the Globes become a highly public avenue for celebrities to voice their concerns and grievances with the world at large. Some like Clooney choose to chastise the world for ignoring the underprivileged and departed, while the Pitts and Jolies may instead opt to congratulate their fellow A-listers for doing just the opposite.
It is an event that serves to further perpetuate the illusion that these people are not only richer, but also better than us. There is already such an irreparable issue with celebrity status in this part of the world, among others, where the downtrodden populace is not content with viewing acting as a mere career, and a neat way to mete out some scratch.
They are instead worshipped, idolized and basted in a marinara sauce of millions of dollars, and thus taken more seriously at times than the uninteresting people who run our world. If Helen Mirren can be more influential than Harper, I think it is just cause to be taken aback.
I don’t want to take away the dazzle in that little prospect’s eyes that strikes when he or she sees a star on the big screen and aspires to wear grey hairs with just as much dignity as the Hollywood aged elite, but one must consider that the culture of entertainment vastly poisons the way that priorities are set in our civilization. When the writers or screen actors guilds go on strike, there is a larger outcry than the single bleep we hear during scandalous political injustices.
The flawed income distribution and frightening media attention on depraved lifestyles are problems enough on their own, but the issue begins and ends with perception.
The powers that reign, whether they are God, NBC or Albertan oil, only capitalize on what the public is easily distracted with. It is difficult to focus on the real commotions that motion our lives when our eyes are glued to the best and worst dressed lists, spreads and photo orgies that populate every event like this one.
Abandoning a celebrity-central society focus can be a great step towards taking back control of our broken, penniless lives, and the sooner we break out of this Hollywood hypnosis the sooner we can get back to occupying financial centers and grieving about Eastern world disasters. It is all too easy to fall into the trap of staring at shiny objects like a race of bipedal magpies.
The world is our oyster, but far too many of us are blinded by the pearl in the center, so I sincerely hope people make the extra effort to avoid the celebrity draw, unlike me.
Of course, it’s a difficult habit to break, but I’ll be damned if a major world crisis gets overshadowed by another Streep breakdown.