On Monday I was honoured as one of the Top 8 CIS Academic All-Canadians. “Academic All-Canadians [are] those exceptional student-athletes who achieve an academic standing of 80% or better while playing on one of their university’s varsity teams. Among these outstanding individuals, one female and one male from each CIS regional association are selected annually.” And
surprisingly I was selected to represent Ontario.
Nothing could have prepared me for the recognition I received in Rideau Hall from the His Excellency, The Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada.
Rideau Hall is part of 1 Sussex Drive, the first building purchased by the Government back in 1867. The original house dates back to 1835 with additions and modifications making it the grand estate it is today. Rideau Hall itself is where the Ministers were sworn in and where the 8 of us were recognized for our academic and athletic achievements.
Below is what was read to the audience as I stood before them.
To say that Sasha Gollish had a dream season with the Varsity Blues track and field program in 2014-15 would be a major understatement. In her fourth campaign with the team, the Toronto native was named the CIS athlete of the year in track events and female MVP of both the OUA and CIS championships after she helped the Blues women capture the conference banner for the first time since 2004 and the national team title for the first time since 1998. At the CIS championships in Windsor, she claimed five medals, including three gold, and helped set a Canadian senior record – and erase a 27-year-old meet standard – in the 4x800m relay.
Academically, Gollish, who already holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters of Engineering, is currently pursuing her PhD in civil engineering and was a straight A student in the winter 2015 semester. She is a two-time CIS Academic All-Canadian and a recipient of the U of T’s prestigious Hal Brown Scholarship.
Despite her busy athletic and academic schedule, Gollish still finds time to give back to the community. In recent years, she has been a volunteer with Fast and Female, an organization dedicated to empowering young women through sport; has won the Community Coach Developer Award presented by Investors Group; was a director of the Ontario Cycling Association; and is also an Olympic level coach, specializing in mental training of entry-level athletes.
(Full article on Varsity Blues)
It certainly is not an experience I will ever forget. To be in Rideau Hall receiving an award from The Governor General, standing in front of some of the people who love and support me the most, was truly incredible.
I will endeavour to keep working hard at everything I do. Running. Engineering Education. Empowering young girls through sport. Making roads safer for recreational road cyclists. Being a great friend and member of my family. And loving life everyday.