‘This one is the best yet,’ says York’s Bruno of award nomination

York Lions soccer player Francesco Bruno thought his magical year of winning special awards was over, wrote the Toronto Star April 8. But now he’s one of four Canadian university athletes in the running for a $10,000 grant.

The 24-year-old midfielder was a huge factor in the Lions claiming a national championship and he was later chosen player of the year in the country. Bruno was also recognized as the Ontario University Athletics most valuable player, first-team all-star and male athlete of the year at York. However, Bruno said yesterday, it was the phone call he received a few days ago that takes top spot.

A graduate of Toronto’s Dante Alighieri Academy, Bruno is on the short list for the financial award put up by law firm BLG (Borden Ladner Gervais LLP) recognizing the top university male athlete in Canada.

Winners will be announced at a gala April 27 in Toronto. It had been held for the past 16 years in Calgary.

“This one is the best yet,” said Bruno, who was on Canada’s under-20 team that competed in the world championship in the United Arab Emirates six years ago, losing out in the quarter-finals. “It’s not the money but the honour of being among the top athletes in Canada. I know I had to beat out some great Ontario athletes to get to this level.”

The award, as explained by national co-chair of BLG, Doug Mitchell, recognizes the highest level of athleticism, leadership and sportsmanship. It does not include academic excellence. Mitchell confirmed that no awards are given to Canadian athletes competing for US schools as the objective is to keep premier athletes at Canadian Interuniversity Sport schools.

  • The nominees for Canadian Interuniversity Sport’s top awards were announced yesterday and two of the eight finalists are from Toronto, wrote The Toronto Sun April 8.

Four males and four females, from each of the four regional CIS associations, were nominated for the BLG Award, founded by national business law firm Borden Ladner Gervais LLP and the CIS.

York Lions soccer midfielder Francesco Bruno and St. Francis Xavier University rugby standout Ghislaine Landry are the Torontonians up for the honour.

All of the athletes praised their schools for allowing them to devote extensive time to their athletic pursuits.

Bruno, the CIS men’s soccer MVP, talked up York, often maligned for its athletics, but a national champion on the pitch for the first time since 1977. “The nomination represents the hard work of not just myself but coaches (and) trainers that have been with me throughout the season,” Bruno said. “I’m very proud to represent York University.”

The male and female winner each will receive a $10,000 scholarship to a Canadian graduate school of their choice, plus a trophy.

Increase in eating out could signal recovery, says Middleton

As Canadians hunker down and wait out the recession, economists are already sifting through the avalanche of bad news for early glimmers of hope, wrote the Toronto Star April 8. Some are looking for signs of life in the US housing market, where the roots of the global crisis lie, or in recent stock market rallies, which are often thought to foreshadow economic recovery. But other observers are keeping an eye on less obvious places.

Alan Middleton, a marketing professor at the Schulich School of Business at York University, said sales of cookbooks and cooking equipment have been rising as the economy shrinks. He said a trend toward eating out could be an early sign people are becoming more confident.

Lost works of Ben Wicks to be archived at York University

A collection of nearly 2,500 works by Canadian political cartoonist Ben Wicks will be preserved at York University, wrote the North York Mirror April 7. “This gift is wonderfully generous,” says York Chancellor Roy McMurtry. “Ben Wicks was a close friend and both his talent and commitment to public service are legendary.”

Truscott lawyer shares lessons

Many of the key players in Steven Truscott’s final bid for exoneration will gather next month to talk about lessons to be learned from the landmark case, wrote the Waterloo Region Record April 8. A two-part review of the case will be one component of a daylong symposium in avoiding wrongful convictions sponsored by the professional development arm of York’s Osgoode Hall Law School.

Mary Park, a program lawyer with Osgoode Professional Development, organized the first symposium on avoiding wrongful convictions in 2005 “so we can dig into how things went wrong so we can avoid having things like that happen in the future. We have to learn from the past so we don’t keep making the same mistakes,” Park said in an interview this week.

This year’s symposium, to be held May 9, will focus on expert forensic evidence in criminal proceedings.