Cowichan Secondary celebrates its athletes
Spend a moment in the company of three of Cowichan Secondary School's top-performing athletes, and it's soon obvious how sport has shaped the students.
There's talent, and passion, and dedication.
There’s also something a little less definable.
"The way I look at it is it’s a privilege to play sports,” says Kieran Lauridsen, CSS’ Male Athlete of
the Year. “I take advantage of it every minute I can.”
Cameron Chow, the school’s Sportsperson of the Year, agreed.
“It’s a privilege to play on any type of sport’s team,” he says. “All that hard work you put into it is rewarded — it’s amazing.”
For these athletes, sport hasn’t just shaped who they are — it’s also an essential part of who they are.
“It’s just so much of what I do,” Female Athlete of the Year Sophie Cutt says.
“Sport means so much to me — it’s my life, essentially. I can’t see myself doing anything else.”
Lauridsen, Chow and Cutt’s devotion to athletics was recognized last Thursday evening during the 32nd CSS Athletic Banquet at the Island Savings Centre.
“I was super excited because I put a lot of time into my sport, so it’s not just the award I won,” says
Lauridsen. “It’s all my hours at the gym and training, all put into one.”
Lauridsen wrestles and plays rugby, and in Grade 10 was named Rookie of the Year for both sports.
He also plays soccer — but rugby is his sport of choice.
“That’s where I put most my time,” he says.
In fact, he’s taking the next year off from post-secondary school to travel abroad in the hopes of playing rugby in places such as New Zealand and France.
Rugby is also the sport of choice for Cutt. She hopes to make the Martlets at McGill University, where she’s heading in the fall.
“I really like the physicality of the game,” she said. “It’s something about being able to put absolutely all into it that makes a big difference.”
But Cutt’s a multi-sport athlete, also competing in rowing, basketball, track-and-field and cross-country, and she’s no stranger to accolades — she was also named Grade 10 Female Athlete of the Year two years ago at Cow High.
Chow has numerous awards, too.
This year was his first in wrestling and yet he still managed to qualify for the provincials, and was named Rookie of the Year for the sport. He placed third in the open men’s high jump at provincials earlier this year, has won several basketball awards, and has a number of MVP titles to his credit for track-and-field.
That would be his chosen sport.
“It’s an individual thing,” he says. “You focus on yourself instead of other people on a team — it tests your mental capability as well as your athletics.”
That said, Chow’s positive, team-player attitude is a big part of why he was named Sportsperson of the Year.
“I like to cheer on other competitors and other teams — I make a lot of friends through sports,” he says.
“Every loss is another person’s win.”
Chow is off to Vancouver Island University in September and is considering a career as a teacher. He plans to stick with track, though, and possibly other sports teams.
Also receiving accolades last week were Scholar Athlete winner Heather Derocher, Grade 10 Female Athlete of the Year Stephanie Langkammer, and Grade 10 Male Athlete of the Year Liam Lindsay.