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  • 3557 JR Rutherford – SPORTS – EDITORIAL: Words of Wisdom Still Applicable 62 Years Later

3557 JR Rutherford – SPORTS – EDITORIAL: Words of Wisdom Still Applicable 62 Years Later



Representative sports at R.M.C. should show to all and sundry that the cadets of the Royal Military College excel in sportsmanship. Sportsmanship should be of the highest order and be clearly evident whether the cadets be on top or bottom. If it is, as it seems to be, easiest to display sportsmanship while playing on a winning team it would therefore be easiest to learn good sportsmanship while playing on a winning team. Winning teams may be had in several ways, the importation of excellent athletes; the acquisition of professional coaches; and the arousing of genuine interest of the non-participating members of the Cadet Wing in representative sports. The enlisting of youths primarily for their athletic ability with little regard given to their academic or leadership abilities is of course not recommended, although a potential recruit possessing great athletic ability should not be ignored because of low academics resulting from heavy participation in extracurricular activities. The second alternative   ̶ the hiring of professional coaches   ̶ is at present impossible because of the meagre allocation of funds to athletics. Non-professional but still able coaches for most sports are to be found in the services, and by the “pulling of a few strings” these coaches could be assigned to R.M.C. as physical training instructors, professors or staff officers. The arousing of interest in representative sports at first appears to be the most obvious method to encourage winning teams but it is also the most difficult. Interest could be simulated by making attendance compulsory, if necessary by the use of parades.

To an outsider or an underling it appears that the employment of good coaches is the easiest way to get winning teams, while the stimulation of Wing interest is probably the most important factor and would probably have the most lasting effect.

3557 JR Rutherford – SPORTS EDITOR – 1955 REVIEW

One Comment

  • 3201 Austen (Aus) Cambon, Class of 1954

    March 15, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    This fine editorial piece appeared in the RMC Review the year following our Graduation as the Class of RoyalRoads’52/RMC ’54. Sportsmanship was always front and centre at the Canadian Services Colleges of our day and sportsmanship has been a paramount theme throughout the long and unique history of RMC. Just six weeks after our Graduation, our class leader, 3300 JAMES ALICK MARSHALL was killed in an RCAF training accident at Portage La Prairie. Alick had been CWC at both Royal Roads and RMC. He was a fierce competitor in sports competitions. Though never a star athlete, Alick consistently exhibited the highest qualities of sportsmanship. Our Class established The Marshall Memorial Award for Sportsmanship, a trophy first awarded in 1956 and presented “to the outstanding cadet participating in the annual CSC Tournament (RMC vs Royal Roads) who best exhibits sportsmanship, determination, and skill in the Tournament”. Sportsmanship was the key component. Over the years this Award has enjoyed several lives and now lives on. It is being awarded annually “to the cadet of the Third Year who, through keen participation in the Intra-Squadron Sports Program, has displayed the greatest degree of sportsmanship”. Sportsmanship at the College has certainly been tested at times. For over 30 years it was understood that during the annual RMC vs United States Military Academy (USMA,West Point) hockey series which began in 1926, no penalties were to be called. Sportsmanship was expected to prevail. In our time at the College these contests became so physically violent on the ice as to be dangerous. In his first West Point game, our classmate, 3035 JERROLD (JERRY) DONAHUE, had been drilled into the boards by an opponent who was an All-American football player for ARMY, a hit that would normally have justified a match penalty. Jerry suffered a serious concussion. In 1953, I personally advocated strongly for an end to the “no-penalties non-rule” (“THE TIME HAS COME”, The Marker,Vol.IV- No.11-March 21,1953, pg.3, full page). The first penalty ever called in this historic series came the following year, on March 6, 1954, at RMC. During this game Alick Marshall had received a cut resulting from the usual rough-house type of play. This prompted the game officials to call both team captains together (this time Jerry Donahue was RMC’s captain) and warned them that they would no longer officiate without penalties being called. At 10:07 of the third period the USMA goaltender Lueders tripped Alick and was awarded a minor penalty. Alick scored exactly one minute into the power play but it was not enough for the win. USMA 5 – RMC 3. The Marker’s headline read: “PENALTIES, RED TUNICS HERE AT LAST” (Vol.V-No.10-March 15,1954, pg.1). Sportsmanship was back, too. It is fascinating that Alick Marshall had worn, though for only a few moments, the soon-to-be-readopted scarlet uniform in a photo for the 1954 RMC Review (pg.32), modelling what was to come. None of us would ever get to wear scarlets on parade, but we could, and we would, remain committed to maintaining the highest qualities of sportsmanship in our future involvement in sports. 3201 Austen (Aus) Cambon, Cadet Wing Sports Officer, 1953-1954.