Last Spring an announcement was made that Running – would once again be granted full varsity status (male & female) at RMC. The man behind the scenes over the past three years leading this drive was 20733 Trevor Davies (RMC ’97).
Trevor was kind enough to give us some background about himself; what motivated him to “push” for this type of status for the Running team; and what the expectations and goals are for the RMC Running Teams.
e-V: Tell us a little about yourself.
Coach: My name is Trevor, I am a member of the RMC Class of 1997. I spent four years in the Boat, three years on the Varsity Running team under our coach Mike Keller, and received my degree in Mechanical Engineering. I spent time on both coasts first as a MARS officer, then as a MARE officer, then came back to RMC in 2005 to do my Master’s in Robotics. Now, during the day, I am a full-time lecturer in the Mech Eng Department. After hours, I don my other hat, as the head coach of the new Varsity Running team.
e-V: What was the process in getting Varsity Running back on the “radar” at RMC?
Coach: I believe that timing was on the team’s side when it was decided to bring Varsity Running back. When I put ‘feelers’ out to see the response to the return of Varsity Running, I received enthusiastic backing from many of my fellow ex-cadet runners, and from the current staff and cadets at RMC. The team had the immediate support of the Ex-Cadet club in terms of advertising and allowing for the allocation of donations to the resurrected Team. The Athletic Department also went out of their way to be accommodating, welcoming me – as a new coach – into their midst.
Most importantly, however, was the complete support and encouragement the new team received from both the Cmdt, BGen Tom Lawson, and from the DCdts, LCol Tony O’Keefe. Without both of them, none of this would have happened as smoothly and as quickly as it did.
e-V: When you returned to RMC as a staff member what was your reaction knowing that varsity running was a thing of the past?
Coach: In all honesty, I had trouble comprehending how a decision to get rid of varsity running could have been made. What other physical activity is as ubiquitous throughout the Canadian Forces as running?! For me, running has always been an integral part of my life and commitment to being a member of the Canadian Forces.
e-V: What are your expectations for the Varsity running team this year?
Coach: Between the team Captain (IV Nicholas St-Amant) and the other coaching staff, we’ve set three ‘goals’ for the team this year: Commitment, Leadership and Team Cohesion. While most people might consider running to be an individual sport, I see it as a group of keen, dedicated athletes supporting one another in both training and competition, and seeing the results of the Team as the end goal. Placing the running of the team firmly in the hands of the team captain and his executive is filling the Leadership goal. This initiative will give the coaches more time to spend coaching and give the cadet athletes valuable leadership opportunities.
e-V: What will be the size of the team?
Coach: During our first half-season last spring, we had a full complement of 24 dedicated and committed athletes; I fully expect our team to be that size again this season, now that we’ve really got things off the ground.
e-V: What is the breakdown by Year?
Coach: We currently have six II yrs, four III yrs and five IV yrs. There are a good number of potential varsity runners in the new I year class and there is a lot of interest from senior cadets that didn’t get the chance to join the team last year; we’ll be conducting tryouts for them in early September.
e-V: The DAth mentioned at the Military Workshop that he expected 36 “recruited” varsity athletes make it to RMC this summer? Were you able to have any “Runners” recruited as part of the 36?
Coach: We officially began training as a team in late January – after most high school students had submitted their applications to universities.
Our intention last January was to get the team up and running… this season will be the team’s first chance to compete at the OUA level. As our new team grows, the team will develop a strong recruiting plan.
e-V: Are you aware of any runners who may try out for your team who are not RO /RE cadets?
Coach: Presently, the entire RMC Running team is made up of ROTP or RETP cadet athletes. This year, there are a few prospective athletes in the Aboriginal Leadership Opportunity Year (ALOY) program that we are looking forward to working with.
e-V: Do you have any assistant coaches? Is there a Chairperson of varsity running?
Coach: This year, I’m fortunate to have two assistant coaches: Capt Mike McWatters, who ran the RMC Running Club before I arrived; and Megan Lord, who is finishing up her Master’s here at RMC. Both of these coaches strengthen our program as Mike is a past CISM Track athlete and Megan brings a wealth of experience as a former member of the Queen’s woman’s Cross Country team.
Ex-cadet LCol (retired) Billy Allan competed on the RMC Running team during his time at the college. Between his research and teaching in the Mechanical Engineering department, Billy diligently represents the team as our Chairperson.