By Earl Zukerman
Mariam Sylla, Cedric McNicoll and Katia Clement-Heydra highlighted a group of 17 McGill athletes who received bursaries at the 29thannual Quebec Foundation for Athletic Excellence awards gala, held at the Sheraton Laval on Nov. 25.
A total 86 athletic scholarships — valued at a combined $218, 750 — were issued, including 49 recruitment bursaries.
Of the 37 awards presented in the merit categories of academic and athletic excellence, as well as leadership, McGill led all Quebec universities with 10 recipients. The Montreal Carabins were next in line with eight, followed by Sherbrooke (7), Laval (6), Concordia (3), Bishop’s (1), UQTR (1) and UQAM (1).
Sylla, a pharmacology junior with a 3.63 grade-point average, collected bursaries in both athletic and academic categories. The 6-foot-1 basketball centre from Conakry, Guinea, was named as the top academic recipient in a team sport.
McNicoll, from Boucherville, Que., and Clement-Heydra of St. Bruno, Que., both hockey players, were recognized as the male and female athletes of the year, respectively, in the category of team sports.
The McGill hockey Martlets, crowned as CIS national champions last spring, were named women’s team of the year.
McGill’s other bursaries of merit went to Jullien Flynn (cross-country; academic) of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., Scott Hancock (track & field; academic) of Frelighsburg, Que., Simon Lamontagne (football, academic) of Boisbriand, Que., Gabrielle Davidson (hockey, athletic) of Pte. Claire, Que., Dianna Ros (basketball, athletic) of Montreal and Vincent Dufort (basketball, athletic) of Smiths Falls, Ont.
McGill also took home 10 recruitment bursaries, which were allocated to the volleyball player Rachel Todd of Stoney Creek, Ont., basketball players Jennifer Silver of Montreal, Marika Guerin of Sorel, Que., and Jeremie Casavant-Dubois of Longueuil, Que., plus hockey players Marie-Philip Lavoie of Pohenegamook, Que., the aformentioned Gabrielle Davidson, and Melodie Daoust, an Olympic gold medalist from Valleyfield, Que.