Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Martin Cleary wins 1 of 6 local prizes as Media Member of Distinction at OUA Honour Awards

Must read

~~~~~~~~~ Advertisement ~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~ Advertisement ~~~~~~~~~

By Ottawa Sports Pages

The University of Ottawa Gee-Gees and Carleton University Ravens combined to win five awards and the reporter who wrote about both of them added a sixth local prize at the Ontario University Athletics Honour Awards banquet last evening in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

High Achievers columnist Martin Cleary was presented with the OUA’s 2023-24 Media Member of Distinction award for his work covering university sport for the Ottawa Sports Pages.

Cleary joins retired CTV Ottawa sports anchor Terry Marcotte as the only local recipients of the media honour first presented in 2006-07.

Cleary did previously earn a separate merit award from the OUA in 1999, adding to a long list of career honours that also includes Canadian sportswriter of the year for 1982 and a Lifetime Achievement Award for sports media from the Ottawa Sports Awards.

“What a wonderful honour for which I am truly thankful,” says Cleary, who was “blown away” when he learned of the award in an email from uOttawa.

~~~~~~~~~ Advertisement ~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~ Advertisement ~~~~~~~~~

“The university appreciated the writing I have done about post-secondary sports and felt strongly enough to nominate me for this honour. I was truly shocked that the OUA would give me this distinction,” he adds. “I greatly appreciate the university considering me worthy to be considered for the award and the OUA for putting me on top of its list.”

The OUA honour comes one year and three days after Cleary was recognized at a celebration marking his 50 years of local sports reporting, where he received a Letter of Commendation from Mayor Mark Sutcliffe.

“I think a big part of what makes Martin’s coverage of university sport so great is that it’s not only on the more celebrated sports like football, he’s always got his eye on nordic skiing, swimming, tennis and everything else too,” signals Ottawa Sports Pages executive director Dan Plouffe.

“We are so thrilled to see Martin recognized and continuing to collect awards as he enters his 51st year of covering sport in Ottawa. Certainly that wealth of experience and knowledge is great to call on, but I think it’s really his unwavering passion and dedication that sets him apart.”

A total of six honours went to Ottawa sports figures, and it’s no surprise – given the nature of his award – that Cleary wrote about each of them.

The national-champion Carleton University Ravens women’s basketball program earned a pair of awards as Women’s Team of the Year and Dani Sinclair as Women’s Coach of the Year.

Gee-Gees photographer Greg Kolz took Photo of the Year for his shot of the Panda Game celebration following uOttawa kicker Campbell Fair’s record-setting 55-yard field goal to win it.

And uOttawa and Carleton athletic directors Sue Hylland and Jennifer Brenning, who are both retiring in June, received the Woman of Distinction and the J.P. Loosemore Award for ethics, integrity and honesty, respectively.

“I have always enjoyed writing about university sports because there is a certain freshness to it all,” Cleary highlights. “The student-athletes train as hard as the pros, but must balance their athletic pursuits with their busy academic studies.

“When they play their games, they take great pride in playing for their schools and revving up the fans. Talking to the athletes, coaches and officials is always a great experience.”

Here is a look back at some of the highlights from Cleary’s university sports coverage during the 2023-24 season:

HELP SHINE A LIGHT ON LOCAL SPORT! The Ottawa Sports Pages has proudly provided a voice for local sport for over 10 years, but we need your help to continue another 10 and beyond. Please donate to the Ottawa Sports Pages Fund today.

Latest article