The McMaster men’s baseball and rugby team lead the way in fundraising for men’s health issues 

Raising money for men’s health is an annual November initiative for athletes at McMaster University. As the end of this year's Movember campaign nears, Marauder sports teams have quietly raised over $25,000.  

The McMaster men’s baseball team and men’s rugby team spearheaded this year’s fundraising efforts, with over $11,900 and $9600 in donations respectively. In addition, the McMaster men’s volleyball team and wrestling teams fundraised over $3600 and $1100 each. Other participating teams include the McMaster rowing team, swimming team and men’s soccer team. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by McMaster Baseball (@mcmasterbaseball)

The McMaster teams primarily fundraise through the Movember campaign website. Established in 2003, the international campaign looks to allocate resources to various areas of men’s health such as mental health, testicular cancer and prostate cancer. Over $19 million was donated to men’s health projects in Canada just last year.  

Though growing a mustache and fundraising for Movember is a tradition amongst McMaster sports teams, the movement has not lost its meaning to repeat participants such as Marco Dilaudo, Maclean Van Raay, Josh Kalmain and Aiden Muldoon. 

“We just want to give back to the community and continue to support those that have been supportive to us as athletes, especially here at McMaster and abroad, while also paying respect to those that are fighting everyday to continue – whether that’s against cancer or mental health,” explained Marco Dilaudo, the first baseman for the McMaster men’s baseball team.  

We just want to give back to the community and continue to support those that have been supportive to us as athletes, especially here at McMaster and abroad, while also paying respect to those that are fighting everyday to continue – whether that’s against cancer or mental health.

Marco Dilaudo, the first baseman for the McMaster men’s baseball team

In addition to leading the baseball team’s fundraising efforts with over $2,000 raised individually, Dilaudo plans to bike 300 kilometres over the month of November – an opportunity for Dilaudo to embrace a challenge and support others that are battling illnesses in their day-to-day lives. 

“Everyone struggles with mental health in some way. Being an athlete, it becomes really stressful trying to balance school and athletics. The mental health part of it definitely plays a factor [wanting to raise money] as well,” said Maclean Van Raay, third year student and middle infielder for the McMaster men’s baseball team. 

For some McMaster athletes, raising money and awareness is especially important because of personal experiences with loved ones. Participating for his fifth in a row, Aiden Muldoon became particularly connected to the cause after experiencing the loss of his father to cancer in 2021. 

“It’s nice to know that there’s a movement for something that’s affected me so dearly [and] that it’s a movement that we can progress towards as a team. I know guys are thinking about other [teammates] that have also lost people to different illnesses. When we’re raising money, it’s good to know that it’s with a direction,” explained Muldoon, a fullback for the McMaster men’s rugby team. 

It’s nice to know that there’s a movement for something that’s affected me so dearly [and] that it’s a movement that we can progress towards as a team. I know guys are thinking about other [teammates] that have also lost people to different illnesses. When we’re raising money, it’s good to know that it’s with a direction.

Aiden Muldoon, a fullback for the McMaster men’s rugby team

As club captain for the McMaster men’s rugby, Muldoon organizes various fundraising events with other members of the team. The rugby team held a Touch 7s Rugby Tournament that took place earlier this month where all profits from the event were donated to Movember. In the past, the team has also welcomed guest speakers or held raffles to raise money

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by McMaster Men's Rugby (@mcmasterrugby)

“For us, as much as it is a serious issue, we do like to make fun of each other’s mustaches a little bit . . . It’s another way to encourage one another to not only support the cause but also support each other in raising money for a good cause,” said Kalmin, a third year student and pitcher for the baseball team. 

Along with raising awareness and fundraising, Movember is a chance for McMaster teams to bond and boost team morale. The competitive aspect that McMaster athletes bring into sport also translates into friendly competition to raise the most money. 

To learn more about the Movember movement, visit their website. To donate or keep up with the fundraising teams, visit their Instagram pages or link here.  

The Marauders row row row their boat all the way to the podium, securing the first gold medal for the rowing team in 20 years 🚣

The McMaster University rowing team competed at the Ontario University Athletics rowing championships on Oct. 29, capturing three medals in a historic team performance. The Marauders earned podium spots in the women’s double and lightweight fours and men’s lightweight double events. For the day, the men’s and women’s teams placed ninth and eighth respectively.   

A day before the championships, the novice and junior varsity rowing crews also secured two medals in the Development Regatta on Oct. 28.  

Sonia Odutola and Hayley Monson placed third in the women’s JV double with a time of 8:55.3. Members of the women’s novice fours, Rachel Caruk, Alexandra Wu, Erika Bullen, Victoria Epshtein and Annika Culhane won the gold medal for the maroon and grey.  

Against 13 other schools, McMaster looked to improve on their two medal performance at last season’s championships. Due to the foggy conditions, the regatta took on a modified schedule where rowers competed for the podium in heats as opposed to needing to qualify through time trials.  

On the women’s team, Amanda Ciezki and Nathalie Hilbert took home gold medals in their doubles event. Their time of 7:44.40 was more than three seconds ahead of the second placing duo of Ainsley Salmon and Rosemary O’Brien from Carleton. The medal marks a significant milestone for the rowing program, coming as their first OUA gold in two decades of competition.  

“Everything that could’ve lined up for us did . . . We left it out there and I don’t think we could’ve done any better and I think the gold medal reflects that,” said Ciezki.  

"Everything that could’ve lined up for us did . . . We left it out there and I don’t think we could’ve done any better and I think the gold medal reflects that."

Amanda Ciezki, women's Rowing Team

Ciezki, who started on the novice team in 2021, provides an outstanding example of the program and coaching staff’s ability to develop their student athletes. This is a major factor towards sustainable success in any sport at the school. 

Competing in the lightweight women’s fours, Heidi Akot, Vivian Lee, Sarah Oresnik, Brianna Fournier and coxswain Jacqueline Huo placed third with a time of 8:24.30. Rounding out the podium, the rowers from Guelph took home silver after completing the race in 8:19.81. The Western Mustangs would go on to grab the top spot with an outstanding time of 7:53.08. 

Members of last year’s bronze medalist group in the men’s lightweight fours Alex Cowman and Alex Barnes earned a silver medal for their efforts in the lightweight pairs. Their time of 7:41.13 was just 74 milliseconds ahead of third place rowers Maddox Harrison and Ethan Mason from Brock.  

With only three varsity men competing for McMaster, the team was able to make the most of their limited roster size and add on another medal to the day’s total.  

“It’s good to be up there and pushing ourselves and showing what we’re capable of doing. I think it’s really great to see the change in the team to become more of a winning team and hopefully it can continue in the future and maybe also get bigger,” said Cowman.  

"It’s good to be up there and pushing ourselves and showing what we’re capable of doing. I think it’s really great to see the change in the team to become more of a winning team and hopefully it can continue in the future and maybe also get bigger."

Alex Cowman, Men's Rowing Team

The men finished in ninth with 61 points in the contest and the women placed eighth with 132 points. The hometown Badgers placed first in the men’s standings while seven medals from the Mustangs helped propel their women to team gold.  

The team ended their season following their run at the Canadian University Rowing Championships on Nov. 5 and Nov. 6. 

Top finishers for the Marauders, Cowman and Barnes placed eighth in the time trials and second in the B finals for the men’s lightweight double. Taking on the lightweight single a few races later, Cowman recorded a time of 7:29.22 to place third in the B finals. 

In the women’s lightweight fours, McMaster finished sixth in both the time trials and A finals. Competing in the lightweight doubles, the pair of Lee and Oresnik finished tenth in their qualifiers and fourth in the B finals, missing the top three by 40 milliseconds with a time of 7:32.55.  

Despite the lack of hardware at nationals, the success at OUAs indicates great potential for both the men’s and women’s team next season. Continuing their novice recruitment and athlete development will help the rowing program to grow the roster’s depth and flourish for years to come. 

C/O McMaster Rowing

The first major rowing competition after a year and a half was welcomed by many

On Nov. 6, the Canadian University Rowing Championships took place at Brock University. After over a year of the COVID-19 led recess, the best rowers from universities across Canada gathered to take part in the competition. There were a total of 21 schools competing in both mens and womens entries that had a chance to prove themselves over the two days of competition. 

McMaster participated as one of the 21 teams in the rowing competition. They entered the tournament with a total of seven entries, which were: Mens Open 1x, Womens Lightweight 2x, Mens Lightweight 1x, Womens Open 1x, Mens lightweight 2x, Womens lightweight 1x and Mens lightweight 4+. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by McMaster Rowing (@mcmasterrowing)

Overall, the major Canadian rowing competition did not conclude well award-wise for the Marauders, who were unable to achieve podium status in any of their entries. The first race of the day was the Mens Open 1x, which was scheduled at 9:00 a.m. The 2,000 metre rowing distance had McMaster finish in 13th place with a time of 7:57.717. 

The next two races didn’t show much more success than the first, unfortunately. In the second race — Women's Lightweight 2x — the Marauders placed 11th while achieving a time of 8:18.096 for 2,000 metres. The third event for McMaster was the Mens Lightweight 1x, which resulted in a 9th place finish for the school, with a time of 7:56.410. 

Arguably the biggest success that the Marauders have achieved throughout the rowing championship was the Men's Lightweight 4+ race. The team managed to qualify for the finals, where they unfortunately fell to sixth place, with a total time of 7:00.070 over 2,000 metres. The participants for McMaster’s most successful and final race were Liam McDonald, Alex Barnes, Alex Cowman and Jack Thorpe. 

Although McMaster did not do very well in this competition, University of British Columbia student Niko Schramm managed to make the podium in both of his races throughout the weekend. Speaking to him, he expressed his excitement to be back to the sport that he loves after such a long time. 

“I was so excited to be a part of this competition. This COVID break seemed to last forever to me and I couldn't wait to get back to rowing. As a student athlete, breaks like these in the past period affected [me] a lot and a return was much needed,” explained Schramm. 

Schramm also added how the COVID break started for him and his peers. 

“In 2020 there were meant to be many races for my peers and I to participate in. However, there was so much uncertainty as to what would happen, [and] eventually everything had to be cancelled until further notice. I was gutted,” said Schramm

When asked about the competition opportunities for his university compared to McMaster and other Ontario schools, Schramm said that his school did not get as many opportunities to prove themselves on the big stage leading up to the big competition last weekend. 

“This was [UBC’s] first major meet in a very long time. It’s a different scenario for Ontario universities as they have had Ontario University Athletics championships beforehand so they have gained some competitive experience leading up to this major meet,” explained Schramm. 

"It’s a different scenario for Ontario universities as they have had Ontario University Athletics championships beforehand so they have gained some competitive experience leading up to this major meet,”

Niko Schramm, University of British Columbia Rower

Schramm also spoke about the success he achieved during this rowing meet, coming in second and third place in his heats. 

“Personally, we were a bit disappointed with what we achieved. We didn’t really expect anything other than a win in our heats, as we have worked hard to prepare in the best possible way for these races. The expectations were really high as UBC has done exceptionally well at rowing competitions in previous years. On a personal level though, I am somewhat satisfied with the way that I have done. I am just glad to be back to rowing,” said Schramm. 

"I am just glad to be back to rowing,"

Niko Schramm, University of British Columbia Rower

Although the Canadian University Rowing Championship is over and won't be played again until next season, the competition couldn't come at a better time for many of the student athletes who have been hungry for competition after a year and a half of inactivity. While the Marauders season comes to an end, there is plenty of room for optimism and improvement when looking ahead to the next season. 

C/O Sum_of_Marc/Flickr

Adam van Koeverden: A McMaster alumnus, Olympic gold-medalist and MP

Adam van Koeverden is Milton’s current member of Parliament and has been since 2019, but he had not always planned to go into politics. In 2007, van Koeverden graduated as valedictorian from McMaster University with an Honours Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology all while balancing an athletic career as Canada’s most successful kayak paddler

During van Koeverden’s pre-teen life, he never would have considered himself an athlete. 

“I wasn’t a very good athlete growing up; I was pretty bad at most of the early-indicator sports. . . I ran cross-country, track and field, downhill skiing and snowboarding, stuff like that. I liked riding my bike, but I wasn’t really into the games that most young boys would identify themselves as athletes by doing,” explained van Koeverden.

When he was 13, things would begin to change, as he joined the local canoe club in Oakville, Ontario. For van Koeverden, kayaking started as a way for him to stay busy after school and get his exercise. However, it quickly became his connection to his local community and a value that has remained with him ever since. 

“When I went down to the canoe club, I found something new that nobody else did. I wanted to be the best at something and nobody else that I knew did kayaking. So on the first day, I was already the best kayaker I knew, which was novel. I stuck with it because it was exciting and different and I was up for the challenge,” said van Koeverden.

It was not until van Koeverden had been kayaking for a few years that he became interested in pursuing the sport competitively at a high level. He began racing competitively both in and out of Ontario, as well as nationally and internationally. 

In 2004, van Koeverden qualified for the first time for the Summer Olympic Games in Athens and acted as the flag bearer at the closing ceremonies in addition to achieving gold in the K-1 500 metre race. He continued to race in the next three Summer Olympics, ending his Olympic career with four Olympic and eight world championship medals

Despite not competing for McMaster’s varsity teams, he was still continuously supported by his peers, faculty and professors. 

“I made it pretty clear to a bunch of my professors that I had big goals and I needed their support in order to achieve them. Professors like Maureen MacDonald, [Stuart] Phillips and Martin Gibala and many, many others, [including] Digby Sale, were there for me [and stood up for me] when I needed a little bit of help. [Joanne] Smith [did] as well — she was an administrator within the department,” said van Koeverden. 

While he had plenty of support, van Koeverden stressed the importance of continuous learning. 

“You need to become sort of a student of your sport, like a student of your craft a little bit, if you want to be successful. And I think what that means is different for everybody, but you can’t rely solely on coaches and administrators and other people to figure out how to get better. You’ve got to figure that out for yourself,”

Adam Van Koeverden

Van Koeverden is no longer paddling competitively, but he continues to make splashes as Milton’s MP. He advocates for youth and seniors alike, promoting active living while working towards an equitable future. Turning to politics was not an easy decision and it stemmed from his hope to remain an active part of Team Canada. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Adam van Koeverden (@avankoeverden)

“I landed on politics because I saw a gap, to be honest. I saw a lot of politicians working hard, developing great policies and I didn’t see enough, from my perspective, on the priorities of physical health, and preventative medicine and recreation and sport in Canada,” said van Koeverden.

Having just been re-elected in the most recent election, van Koeverden is excited to continue working as Milton’s voice in Ottawa. For students with diverse interests, a sense of ambition and high hopes for themselves, van Koeverden is surely a great role model and a source of inspiration! 

McMaster’s 5:30 a.m. athletes: the rowing team

C/o Yoohyun Park

Meet a McMaster sports team who finds themselves with very minimal media share — the rowing team. They were founded in 2002 and are composed of varsity, junior varsity and novice teams. The rowing team attends numerous regattas, the most recent one being the invitational regatta hosted by the University of Guelph. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by McMaster Rowing (@mcmasterrowing)

With the lack of media attention comes a few problems for the team, the largest one being a lack of incoming members. Jacob Bresolin is the captain of the men’s rowing team. 

“Definitely without having a lot of media coverage and not much attention, it’s hard to keep numbers up and keep people interested in rowing. And definitely it’s a big turn off when you tell them that we have to wake up at 4:30 in the morning,” said Bresolin.

Sarah Oresnik, the captain of the women's rowing team, further echoed this message, conveying the difficulty of member recruitment, especially through the pandemic. 

“With COVID, we’ve had a couple of years of students graduating, so we lost a lot of our varsity members, and we didn’t have novice teams for at least a year,” said Oresnik.

The novice teams are made up of those who have an interest in rowing but have never rowed either competitively, or even at all. 

“The way novice works is it’s for people who have never rowed before and have never rowed a race in their life before, and we train them for a year and teach them how to row a race. And then if they come back for another year, they have the chance to be on the JV or varsity team straight out of novice,” explained Bresolin

While joining the team may be easier, having the will to stay on it is much harder. 

“I think keeping your cool and staying in time are the hardest parts about it,” said Bresolin. “And basically staying focused and keeping yourself from getting frustrated when things don’t go right. Especially when you’re in a boat with a lot of people, there’s a lot of factors that you can’t control.”

Oresnik agreed and explained her mentality regarding the sport. 

“When you get frustrated, [you have to] focus even more, keep your head in the boat, follow the swing of the person in front of you,” said Oresnik.

However, according to Bresolin, these hardships build great relationships. 

“Being at practice is another way that we actually build our team spirit and our team bond, just by rowing together every morning. The struggle builds friendships,” commented Bresolin.

"Being at practice is another way that we actually build our team spirit and our team bond, just by rowing together every morning. The struggle builds friendships."

Oresnik agreed, “Yeah, you’re all going through the same experiences, and it really brings you together.”

The rowing team’s next race is the weekend of the second of October, and will be hosted by Brock University in St. Catharines. In preparation for the event, the team will be heading to Trent University for an exhibitional race on Oct. 2. 

“This weekend, we are heading up to Trent University to row a bit of a longer race, it’s called a head race. It’s about five kilometers down the Trent course. . . It cuts through the campus, so it’s a really cool race. There’s a lot of energy at this regatta, so it should be a fun time,” explained Bresolin.

Despite the pandemic limiting in-person interaction, various McMaster sports teams have found ways to instill community while growing their month-long moustache.

Ever since its founding in 2003, the Movember campaign has funded more than 1250 men’s health initiatives with twenty countries participating. Since its origin in Australia, over 6 million individuals have cumulatively participated in the campaign, raising $1.13 billion since its inception. Within the last year, $20.8 million was raised in Canada, where 66.5% was allocated for men’s health projects. 

Movember was brought to life by two Australian men, Travis Garone and Luke Slattery, who wanted to raise awareness regarding four main areas of men’s health: mental health, physical activity, testicular cancer and prostate cancer.

From raising $0 in their founding year, they were able to fundraise $50,468 the following year, while increasing their participants 16-fold from 30 to 480. The aim of the campaign is to reduce premature death of men by 25 percent by 2030. In fact, males comprise 75 percent of all suicides, with one man dying by it every minute. 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by McMasters Movember (@macmovember)

For the past six years, McMaster men’s rugby athletes have participated in the initiative. This year, Max Pinkerton, a fifth-year player taking a senior role on the team, expanded the initiative to encompass all Marauder athletes. 

“We reached out to our friends who are on other sports teams and decided to bear this initiative. Fortunately, we grew to seven teams this year . . . We see that no sports are going to be played this year so we figured that why not expand Movember so everyone can partake in it and I think that’s something teams took pretty well,” said Pinkerton. 

“We reached out to our friends who are on other sports teams and decided to bear this initiative. Fortunately, we grew to seven teams this year . . . We see that no sports are going to be played this year so we figured that why not expand Movember so everyone can partake in it and I think that’s something teams took pretty well,” said Pinkerton. 

This year was quite different during the campaign as many of the typical events had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Typically, we’re more hands-on with gathering sponsorships, donations and hosting events,” said Pinkerton.

As the pandemic has taken a toll on many individuals’ mental health, the rugby team did a modified team photoshoot with a collage. They also created a bottle drive, both with the goal to instil a sense of community amongst the team.

They also partnered with the Movember organization to create an online trivia night, where family and friends joined in on the fundraising campaign. Athletes have also done personal challenges where they would interact with the community on their route. 

“It's definitely interesting to create a sense of community while being virtual, you kind of take granted the face to face moments,” said Pinkerton.

At the end of the month, the rugby team was able to raise just over $8,900, beating their goal of $7,500.

Among the seven teams, the men’s baseball team and volleyball teams also participated in this year’s campaign. Bennett Swan, a fourth-year player on the volleyball team, led his team’s campaign, raising a collective total of over $12,000, surpassing their initial goal by $5,000. For Swan, Movember has a personal connection to him, after losing his dad in the eighth grade to cancer. 

“It took a lot of courage and taking that first step for checking my mental health and testicular cancer, something men may find awkward to do. But it is essential to do. It's really easy to fall into the trap of Movember for not shaving, but if you peel back the layers and see the deep meaning behind wanting to see men live longer,” said Swan.

Swan further emphasized the importance of admitting to oneself they need help and continues to advocate for loved ones checking-in on themselves, such as speaking with a counsellor. 

“It took a lot of courage and taking that first step for checking my mental health and testicular cancer, something men may find awkward to do. But it is essential to do. It's really easy to fall into the trap of Movember for not shaving, but if you peel back the layers and see the deep meaning behind wanting to see men live longer,” said Swan.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by McMasters Movember (@macmovember)


For Julian Tymochko and Kenny Noguchi, fourth- and sixth-year players on the baseball team, this was their first year participating in the Movember campaign. They successfully raised over $4,500, surpassing their goal of $2,000. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team decided to ramp up their social media presence. 

“We did a round-robin tournament for best moustache. That was one way we got people involved. We got quite a few donations from that so it’s been quite effective,” said Noguchi. 

“We did a round-robin tournament for best moustache. That was one way we got people involved. We got quite a few donations from that so it’s been quite effective,” said Noguchi. 

To raise awareness regarding mental health, Tymochko also did 10-kilometre runs to help clear his mind but wanted to expand to his entire team for future years.

“You see 20 big, burly guys running down the street and people will be asking what’s going on there? It’s just to bring more eyes and awareness,” said Tymochko. 

“You see 20 big, burly guys running down the street and people will be asking what’s going on there? It’s just to bring more eyes and awareness,” said Tymochko. 

For all the teams involved, raising awareness, in general, has been the predominant goal.

“We’re dropping interviews to help break down the barriers affecting the stigma of dealing with mental health and testicular cancer. Something I usually sign off with every November is “check your balls”. It feels a bit taboo, but the main thing about Movember is getting to know yourself, physical but also the mental health side of it as well,” said Pinkerton.

Pinkerton, Noguchi, Swan and Tymochko all emphasize the importance of reaching out for support and not fighting your battles yourself.

“We’re dropping interviews to help break down the barriers affecting the stigma of dealing with mental health and testicular cancer. Something I usually sign off with every November is “check your balls”. It feels a bit taboo, but the main thing about Movember is getting to know yourself, physical but also the mental health side of it as well,” said Pinkerton.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by McMasters Movember (@macmovember)

Photo C/O @mac_rowing

Sometimes we forget beyond the “big” sports that McMaster has so much to offer when it comes to sports. There is a whole bunch of sports outside of football, basketball, soccer and volleyball that not only exist at Mac, but compete within the Ontario University Athletics league. One of these sports happens to be rowing! Get to know the McMaster Rowing team with these fast facts.

1. The Mac Rowing team has both a women’s and men’s team.  Similar to sailing, they both compete for events in smaller groups that are awarded points for a group score. Mac’s team has both men and women who have competed at the national and provincial level.

2. They have open tryouts for all those who want to join the team at the beginning of each school year. Obviously, having rowing experience would be a plus, but who knows, maybe you have what it takes to be then next big thing in Canadian university rowing.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BnXNhURF_Lj/?taken-by=mac_rowing

3. Both teams compete at an OUA sanctioned finals. The P.C. Fitz-James Trophy is presented to the overall men's team champion, and the Mrs. W. Lathrop Challenge Trophy is presented to the overall women's team champion. For McMaster, this championship just passed last weekend. Although the Marauders did not secure the banner this season, the University of Western Ontario won both the men’s and women’s championships this year, they still had a number of strong performances.

4. This past summer, recent Mac grad Myma Okuda-Rayfuse of the women’s team dawned the maroon and white to represent McMaster at the International University Sports Federation World University Rowing Championship in Shanghai.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BmOL07GFRDd/?taken-by=mac_rowing

5. Like most teams who are not governed by U Sports, Rowing Canada will host a university championship for university rowing teams across Canada. The McMaster teams will attend the upcoming one this weekend in Burnaby, BC on November 4-5. Follow them at @mac_rowing on Instagram and @rowingcanada on Twitter to stay updated.

[spacer height="20px"][thesil_related_posts_sc]Related Posts[/thesil_related_posts_sc]

Subscribe to our Mailing List

© 2022 The Silhouette. All Rights Reserved. McMaster University's Student Newspaper.
magnifiercrossmenu