On 5 June 2014, Marc Garneau’s Athletic Banquet kicked off at Thorncliffe Banquet Hall. All Cougar athletes from the year were invited for a night of awards, dinner, and dancing, and celebrations that lasted from 6:30 to 10:15 PM. Non-athletes were invited to attend as well.
Entrance to the dance required a quick breathalyzer test and bag check by the vice-principals of the school. The MCs, Leslie Maiden and Emma Smith, then started off the evening with awards. The Most Valuable Player (MVP), Most Dedicated Player (MDP), and Most Improved Player (MIP) from each team were called to receive their respective trophies. After the awards for the twenty-four teams were covered, the Athletes of the Year were announced, as follows:
Junior girl Athlete of the Year: Jenna Wong
Junior boy Athlete of the Year: EJ Vidad
Senior girl Athlete of the Year: Leslie Maiden and Emma Smith
Senior boy Athlete of the Year: Abdul Rahman Houssein
The Chris Penny Award, given to a student who has shown dedicated involvement in community services, was given to Mustafa Mufti.
The awards were followed by a buffet styled dinner, and a slideshow of the teams compiled by the MCs. The rest of the event was spent on the dance floor, with three slow songs to end the night.
Raaba Ahmad, who received the MDP Award for Cross-Country, was impressed with the event. “It was really, really awesome,” he commented. “From the food, to the awards, to the dance— it was just crazy!”
Although the event ran smoothly, the planning that preceded it went through many challenges. The most prominent issue was regarding the elevated ticket price of $32 for athletes, compared to around $10 from previous years. This was due to the cancellation of the Athletic fee, where students pay a one-time fee of $20 when they first join a sports team. The low fee covered the cost of the athletic banquet. However due to the fact that the Athletic fee was a new system implemented only two years before the Bill 115 strike, and that ensuring that everyone paid required a lot of work, coaches did not consider using the process this year. A total of only 112 tickets, compared to sell-outs in previous years, were sold as a result.
The Athletic Banquet also faced temporary cancellation a few weeks before the event, due to a microphone going missing from the school cafeteria. Plans were in place to use the funds allocated for the Athletic Banquet to replace it, however the microphone was found the next day, before the cancellation was announced. Event planning resumed without issue after the incident.
“It was very, very difficult to organize this year,” commented Athletic Convener Michelle Nyamekye. “I had a lot of help though, and it turned out pretty well.” Other individuals that were vital to the event included Social Convener Tracey Frimpong, Leslie Maiden, Emma Smith, Ms. Wiltenburg, Ms. Mah, and Ms. Libunao.