James advises holistic approach for soccer’s ‘supreme athletes’

As World Cup soccer enthralls millions around the world, it’s not unusual to look at the players and think, How on earth do they do it? “These are supreme athletes playing at the highest possible level,” said Paul James, master soccer coach at York, in the Toronto Star June 23. “Their fitness preparation has to be at that high a level as well. The most effective approach is a holistic one.” James should know, from experience and from close observation. A former national team player [and World Cup participant in 1986] who now runs the soccer program at York, he is also a soccer analyst currently commenting on World Cup games for GOLTV, Canada’s soccer network, and for The Score.

“The athleticism required is phenomenal; their endurance level is absolutely superb; and they need a peak all-around fitness level,” James says. There is also a mental and emotional fitness required to become the elite athlete professional soccer players are required to be. The lifestyle is so physically demanding that you need the right mentality to take it on. It’s about everything: nutrition, hydration, training and recovery as well as the psychological aspect,” he says. “You need a holistic approach. I believe that yoga is very helpful for high-level athletes. It combines strength, power, flexibility and the psychological components.”

York researchers receive grants

Researchers at York University have been awarded more than $400,000 from the Canada Foundation for Innovation for equipment and renovations to support their work in vision research and chemistry, reported Globe and Mail.com June 22. Richard Murray, a professor in York’s Department of Psychology and Centre for Vision Research, will receive $152,477 in infrastructure funding to create a laboratory to study perception of three-dimensional shapes. Gino Lavoie, of the Department of Chemistry at York, will receive $255,608 for infrastructure to support his research in organometallic chemistry and polymer chemistry.

Drug makers expected to shun Canada

More drug manufacturers will likely follow the move of Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada, the company that refuses to market its colorectal cancer drug Erbitux because it can’t get the price it wants, reported The Globe and Mail June 23. Joel Lexchin, professor of health policy in York’s Atkinson School of Health Policy & Management, said he has heard of only one other case in which a pharmaceutical manufacturer refused to market a drug strictly due to pricing. Still, he expects to see more companies follow suit. “It will happen more and more. You’re getting these drugs coming onto the market, with the high prices,” Dr. Lexchin said in a telephone interview.  The drug companies want a high price because they figure the market will pay for that.”

New sexual consent bill is part of  ‘symbolic politics’, says Young 

The Conservatives have moved to raise the age of sexual consent by two years to 16, saying kids need better protection from adult predators in an Internet era, reported Canadian Press June 23. But critics, including Alan Young, professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, blasted the bill as a sop to far-right Tory supporters that will drive young lovers underground. They also contend it will do nothing to bolster already existing laws that prohibit sexual exploitation of children. The bill introduced by Justice Minister Vic Toews would, if passed, mark the first time the age has been changed since it was set at 14 more than a century ago.

Young says it’s the latest example of “symbolic politics” – the addition of redundant law to score political points. Young said the Tories did the same thing the previous week with a bill to crack down on street racing, an offence already covered under dangerous driving and criminal negligence laws. “They’re manufacturing problems that don’t really exist and responding to them to appear as if they’re very responsive to the needs of Canadians,” Young added. The Criminal Code already protects anyone under 18 from sexual exploitation, Internet luring and child pornography, Young said. “I would need to see evidence that these sections are not protecting young people. I really don’t know why Prime Minister Harper thinks this is a necessary enactment.”

 NHL’s 250th draft pick of ‘84 chose York instead

Whether they make it to the NHL or not, there is nothing irrelevant about the lives of those whose names were called last in the league’s entry draft, wrote the Toronto Star June 23. Take York alumnus Darren Gani (BA/BEd ‘91), the 250th pick by Edmonton in 1984. He occasionally gets teased about his draft history. “The students will Google you and then come in and ride you a little bit about it,” said Gani, head of physical education at Toronto’s Malvern Collegiate Institute. “I was never ashamed or embarrassed about being the last pick, that’s for sure. I got to go to a couple of camps and you never forget that first skate when you’re out on the ice, you look beside you and there’s Jari Kurri firing some pucks or Grant Fuhr is setting the puck up behind the net as you go for breakout. Those things are, as an 18-year-old, pretty amazing.

“But you always have to remind yourself that what you do as an 18-year-old shouldn’t be what defines you in life,” Gani added. “I look at what I’ve been able to do as a teacher the last 15 years and the influence I’ve had…now that’s amazing.” Without the temptation of the big money that exists now – Gani recalls minor-league salaries as being about $30,000 and the NHL minimum as $80,000 – he enrolled at York University. “The lesson I try to pass on is, try to keep your doors open as much as possible; education is the thing no one can take away from you,” he said.

Deaf since she was 3, York student expects to graduate this fall

York psychology student Rose Gunton-Rumball “spoke” to members of the Orillia and District Branch of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association at a recent meeting, reported The Packet & Times (Orillia) June 23. Deaf since the age of three as a result of an illness, she spoke in American Sign Language to inform the group how the hearing world regards people with hearing loss. “A lot of people think deaf people are illiterate,” she explained through a signing interpreter. “They think if you can’t hear, how can you possibly learn to read?” Gunton-Rumball explained that when deaf people do not have good language skills it is because the system has failed them. Gunton-Rumball is a part-time student at York University and will graduate this fall with a BA in psychology. Since September, she has been working part time at Deaf Access Simcoe in Barrie as a community outreach coordinator.

York kinesiology student captains the Little Lake Water Taxi

The Little Lake Water Taxi kicked off its 11th season yesterday after navigating choppier-than-usual insurance premiums that threatened its survival, reported The Peterborough Examiner June 23. Laura Killen is looking forward to being afloat this summer as one of the captains of the water taxi service. For the past four years, the 24-year-old student from Peterborough in York’s School of Kinesiology & Health Science, has spent summers building fenders and hoods or checking paint on cars at General Motors in Oshawa. “It should be really nice interacting with people instead of working in a hot factory,” she said.

Dusk still waiting for his turn to be next big thing

I wonder how much Matt Dusk gets rankled by the huge successes of like-minded crooner Michael Buble, wrote the music reviewer for the Kelowna Capital News June 21. At the start of things it looked as if Dusk would prevail as the superstar. He won the prestigious Oscar Peterson Scholarship to study at Toronto’s York University, even under Peterson at times. Anyway, Dusk’s new CD Back In Town has merit. But Dusk looks like he’s saying “wha…happened?” on his new CD’s cover.

Murder victim was former York student

Sarah Jean Canvin, the late daughter of David Canvin, 74, – the professor emeritus from Queen’s University who is charged with her murder – entered film studies at York University in 1986 and also studied at Queen’s, reported The Kingston Whig-Standard June 23.

On air

  • Patrick Monahan, dean of York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, spoke about the Chinese head tax issue on CBC-TV’s “The National” June 22.
  • A speech by Ian H. Macdonald, York president emeritus, to the Empire Club of Canada was featured on the Rogers TV program “Podium” June 22.
  • Priscilla Uppal, professor in York’s Division of Humanities, Faculty of Arts, participated in a panel discussion of general knowledge questions on TVO’s “More to Life” program June 22.