WATERLOO — Lauren Meschino has been named the 2008 Outstanding Woman of Laurier. Meschino, who balances a busy schedule of hockey, academics and community volunteerism, received the award today during an exclusive luncheon at the Waterloo Inn & Conference Centre.
“Lauren is a gifted athlete, an excellent student and an active volunteer in our region,” said Peter Baxter, Laurier’s director of athletics and recreation. “I hope that receiving the 2008 Outstanding Women of Laurier award will position her as a role model to female athletes in our community who are looking to balance involvement in sports with higher education.”
Meschino is a fifth-year kinesiology student who has played for the Golden Hawks hockey team since her freshman year. She is a three-time provincial all-star and the only Golden Hawk in history to hold five provincial titles in her five years of competition. Starting her hockey career at Laurier in a defensive position and adjusting to becoming a forward, she has collected 117 wins with the Golden Hawk program, as well as a national gold and two silvers. Meschino was the team’s captain this past season and was the second highest point contributor with 26 in the 27-game season.
Meschino volunteers with several organizations in her spare time. She is kept busy instructing and mentoring girls in minor girls’ hockey and has helped run the Laurier Women’s Hockey Camp for the past four summers. She also works with physical therapists to help administer treatments at Waterloo Sports Medicine at RIM Park and works with a group of multiple sclerosis patients through an organization called Link with Work to emphasize the importance of physical activity to maintaining their quality of life.
“I am honoured and completely floored to have received this award,” said Meschino in her acceptance speech. “I hope that my involvement can inspire some of the younger girls here today to at least be open to the possibility of a student-athlete career and be willing to become an involved member of their community.”
Laurier launched the Outstanding Women of Laurier award in 2006 to recognize female students who combine athletic and academic achievement with an active commitment to the development of young athletes through community teaching or coaching. Meschino received $1,000 and a gold pendant for her accomplishments in front of a crowd of approximately 400 people who attended the luncheon ceremony.
Twenty-three women competed for the prestigious award this year, including three who joined Meschino as finalists: Carolyn McEwen, Frances Minnema and Danielle Walker. Each of the finalists also received a gold pendant and a $500 financial award.
This year’s event included an inspirational keynote address by four-time Olympic champion Catriona Le May Doan and was hosted by Laurier alumna Helen Stoumbos, the first Canadian ever to score a World Cup soccer goal. Stoumbos also received the Outstanding Women of Laurier Alumni Founders Award during the event.
The 2008 event proceeds will increase the event’s $100,000 endowment, enabling more than $4,000 to be awarded to female Laurier students each and every year. In addition, the event will put more than $15,000 into female varsity programs and coaching at Laurier.
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