Dal, the Saint Mary’s University Huskies, and the Acadia Axemen and Axewomen have begun a five-week exhibition schedule featuring the possibility of games in as many as four sports: basketball, hockey, swimming and women’s volleyball. For teams in each sport, this is their first taste of play against Atlantic University Sport (AUS) opponents in roughly a calendar year.

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Black Nova Scotian athletes and coaches have faced many moments of racism and discrimination within their sports. The question remains: how will the Nova Scotian sports community address this issue?

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Isabel Sarty of the Dalhousie University Tigers swimming team was named a U Sports Top 8 Academic All-Canadian for the 2019-2020 season alongside Matt Coolen of the Tigers’ track team. U Sports awards the Academic All-Canadian honour to student-athletes who receive an average of 80 per cent or higher in their courses while playing on a varsity team. U Sports chooses Top 8 awards based on student-athletes’ performance at the top of the podium and the classroom.

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One of Johnston’s less recognized accomplishments was his work in hockey, particularly for the Coloured Hockey League of the Maritimes (CHL). With the league being groundbreaking in both revolutionizing how hockey is played and as the first notable majority/all-Black hockey league, perhaps it’s time to consider him for legendary status in the sport too.

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Academic All-Canadians

In the 2019-2020 season, the Dalhousie University Tigers boasted the highest number of Academic All-Canadians in school history and the most in the Atlantic University Sport (AUS). Student-athletes are recognized as Academic All-Canadians by U Sports when they achieve an overall grade of 80 per cent or better (3.7 GPA or above on Dal’s grade scale) while playing with a varsity team.

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Hockey

Dal teams have had the fortune to practice together for nearly the whole first semester and several teams are back from the winter break ready to pick up from where they left off in the fall. Compared to the rest of Canada, including regions subject to lockdowns, Tigers teams have trained together more than most U Sports schools. At the same time, some athletes hoped season play would be underway by now.

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Anika Almero and Brett Boldon aim to be the best volleyball setters they can be. The teammates for the Dalhousie University Tigers women’s volleyball team are competing for the vacant starting setter position in preparation for regular games potentially resuming next season.

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Anna Stammberger (née Pendergast) has coached her final regular season basketball game for the Dalhousie University Tigers women’s basketball team. The 2014-2015 Atlantic University Sport (AUS) Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year announced she would retire following the 2020-2021 season.

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The Nova Scotian Black and Indigenous Coach Mentorship Program was launched in September 2020 by Mark Smith. The program aims to provide a place for young coaches from Black and Indigenous communities to learn about coaching, with an emphasis on providing a well-rounded perspective on it.

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