Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Sad News

Very sad news on the passing of Carolyn Sturgess (Swords), former Laurentian star originally from Ottawa. On behalf of the entire basketball community, we offer our deepest sympathies to Martin, Shawn and the entire Swords family.


VIKING, Alta. It is with a heavy heart that the Laurentian University Athletic Department announces the passing of former Lady Vees basketball standout Carolyn Sturgess (Swords). Sturgess, also a member of the Alumni Voyageur Hall of Fame (2008) had been living in Viking, Alberta with her husband Kelly and two sons Mason and Matthew.

Sturgess lost a long and courageous battle to breast cancer; she was 39-years old. As recent as August, she participated in Edmonton’s Weekend to End Breast Cancer, which included a 60-kilometer walk. Sturgess, along with her team of 13 completed the walk and raised $32,000.

She won two CIAU national championships (1989-90 and 1990-91) as well as two CIAU bronze medals (1991-92 and 1992-93) while at Laurentian. The Lady Vees also won four straight OWIAA championships and an OWIAA silver medal while Sturgess was a member from 1989 to 1994.

Individually, Sturgess was a perennial all-star. She was named an OWIAA all-star in 1992-93 and 1993-94, an OWIAA final four all-star in 1990-91 and OWIAA tournament most valuable player in her rookie season of 1989-90.

As impressive as Sturgess was on the basketball court, she stood out even more in the classroom. She was a five-time academic all-Canadian while completing her Bachelor of Engineering degree. She was also a Canadian Scholar and a member of the Dean’s Honour List. She was named a Commonwealth Scholarship winner, which allowed her to complete her Doctor of Philosophy at Leeds University in England.

Sturgess was a member of the Ontario provincial team from 1985 to 1989 prior to becoming a member of the Lady Vees.

Internationally, she competed at the 1994 FISU games for Canada and 1997 FISU games for British national team while completing her doctorate.

Sturgess was inducted to the Alumni Voyageur Hall of Fame in 2008, alongside current Voyageurs basketball head coach, and brother, Shawn Swords.

"Carolyn truly epitomized the Laurentian experience, excelling both athletically and academically," said Athletic Director Peter Hellstrom. "She was a true leader to her teammates and classmates and is an example for students at Laurentian to follow. She will be sorely missed."

Final arrangements are not yet finalized.

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