Gee-Gees

Alexandra Ondo
Alexandra Ondo in action against the Montreal Carabins on Oct. 29. Photo: Hailey Otten/Fulcrum
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After an outstanding career as a Gee-Gee, Ondo has decided to return for a sixth season with the Garnet and Grey

Noah Quarrington — Men’s Lacrosse

Noah Quarrington is a first-year criminology student and one of the newest midfielders to join the University of Ottawa’s men’s lacrosse team. According to Quarrington, he’s been playing lacrosse for “as long as [he] can remember”. 

Quarrington hails from Rama First Nation, Ontario, and played for several lacrosse teams before becoming a Gee-Gee, including the Orillia Minor Lacrosse Association Kings, the Patrick Fogarty Catholic Secondary School lacrosse team, and the Orillia Jr. B Kings lacrosse team. 

When asked about his decision to attend the University of Ottawa, Quarrington credited his decision to the school’s academic and athletic appeal, saying “Ottawa’s criminology program and lacrosse program are what sold me on coming to uOttawa. I also liked the idea of living in Ottawa: there is always something to do.” 

Quarrington is enjoying living in the city, especially when it comes to “playing hockey and lacrosse, and chilling with the boys.”

Regarding his future aspirations, Quarrington hopes “to get my degree in criminology and I hope to play lacrosse for as long as I can, regardless of the league or competition level. I want to become a better player while playing for uOttawa.”

Quarrington has already proved himself an asset to the Gee-Gees, as he’s played in all six games that Ottawa has competed in, so far. He’s scored five goals (including one power play goal) and four assists, making him the third-highest scoring player this season

Alexandra Ondo – Women’s Rugby

Alexandra Ondo is a veteran Gee-Gee, returning for her sixth year as a winger on the women’s rugby team. Ondo is a U of O graduate with a bachelor’s degree in social sciences and a minor in global studies

While Ondo was born in Gaspésie, Quebec, she moved to Sénégal as a child and did not return to Canada until her teenage years, when her family settled in Gatineau, Quebec. When asked about how she began playing rugby, Ondo credited her involvement to her move back to Canada. 

I had just moved back from Sénégal to Gatineau and wasn’t really liking the school I was going to. Two of my best friends that I met in Sénégal were attending boarding school in Nova Scotia and playing there,” Ondo said. “There’s something that drew me to the sport, so when they made a joke about me coming to transfer to their school I took it seriously and made it happen! I suggested the idea to my parents and they said if I took care of the application process I could move there. I did everything and transferred after March Break in my tenth grade year, right when the rugby season was starting. I loved it and stuck with it ever since!”

Prior to joining the Gee-Gees, Ondo played for Rugby Nova Scotia in the summers, trained with their academy through the school year, and even returned to represent the team during her summers in university. After moving to Ottawa, Ondo played for the Ottawa Irish Rugby Club and in the summer after her second year of university, she was “selected to play Rugby Canada’s U20 team for the CAN-AM tournament in Ottawa.”

Ondo called her decision to attend the University of Ottawa her best option “because it had both the program I wanted to study in and a good rugby program. Other universities had one or the other. I also ended up choosing Ottawa because of the diversity here. I’ve grown up in international schools so that was an important aspect for me.”

Like many athletes, the pandemic took a major toll on Ondo’s plans, both athletic and otherwise. She said the pandemic “gave me time to think about how I wanted to leave this team. I really reflected on whether I felt I had given everything I could.”

The cancellation of many university sports due to the pandemic left Ondo and many other athletes feeling that they hadn’t been able to train and play at the level they desired. This was one of the main reasons that Ondo decided to return for a sixth season. 

“​​I graduated last June from my program and still had a year of eligibility left. It took me months to officially make the decision. In the end, I decided to come back for two reasons, on the rugby aspect, I had felt that I hadn’t quite reached my potential and did not want to end my career feeling that way. On the off-field level, our team had done some amazing work, which I’m sure to some can seem performative, but I’ve seen people truly come out of their shells as a direct result of creating a safer and more inclusive environment,” Ondo said.

The women’s rugby team has been essential in promoting inclusivity and supporting diversity amongst both student-athletes and the U of O campus. This can be seen through their social media and through the trust the team has for each other.

“After being in isolation and only seeing family members and best friends, through a time where so much was changing around the world, being in a space where I wouldn’t feel safe worried me,” said Ondo. “Once I saw the development of our team, that was no longer a concern of mine. We are in many ways the most connected team I have ever played on and I couldn’t be happier with my decision.”

Welcome back, Ondo, and good luck at U Sports Nationals!