Redeemer’s Owen Kurvits is the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) National Champion in Men’s Singles Badminton. Kurvits defeated Humber College’s Jesse Assing in a nail-biting three- set match to earn the Gold Medal at the CCAA Championships on Saturday, March 7 in Halifax, NS. A second-year kinesiology student from Hamilton ON, Kurvits had an incredible year, capturing almost every major award and title — he defended his title as the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) champion, was named the OCAA Player of the Year and received CCAA All-Canadian honours. It was also a unique—and nerve-wracking—experience for Benno Kurvits, who is not only the head coach for the Royals’ badminton team, but also Owen’s father. “I admit I did not sleep very well the night before the gold medal game. I woke up very early and had a very difficult time sleeping after that.” Kurvits is Redeemer’s first national champion, either in a team or individual sport. Redeemer has been competing in the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association since 1986, fielding teams in cross-country, soccer, volleyball, basketball and badminton. It has sent several athletes to national championship competitions over the years, but this is the first time that anyone has come home with a medal. “We are excited and proud of this accomplishment for Owen,” said Dave Mantel, Redeemer’s Athletic Director. “It is the outcome of years of hard work by our student-athletes, coaches, and staff. We all start out with the goal of winning a Championship, and developing character, community, and healthy behaviour through our experiences. To achieve the highest level of that goal possible for us is special, and it is something that Owen personifies. It is a moment in our history that we’ll never forget.” Even though the event was thousands of kilometers from Redeemer’s campus, Kurvits could feel the support from his family and friends. Before, during, and after the match, fans took to Facebook and Twitter, offering their best wishes and congratulations to the Champion. Kurvits noted that after the match, saying, “I’m pretty overwhelmed with the amount of support I received from everyone back home. I know it might sound a bit cliché, but it gave me some extra energy for the finals which was a great feeling and sincerely helped my game.” The entire Redeemer community congratulates Owen Kurvits on his win, and for the way he represents the university and all that is good about sport. For more details on Kurvits’ accomplishments, visit the Redeemer Royals’ website. For full National Championship results, visit: http://www.ccaa.ca/schedule-results-s15146.