Samantha Romano of Brock University Named Recipient of 2018-2019 Bob McLeod Scholarship

OTTAWA – Wrestling Canada Lutte is please to announce that 2018 Junior Canadian Champion at 50 kg and 2018 U SPORT runner-up at 48 kg, Samantha Romano of Brock University, has been selected as the recipient of the Bob McLeod Scholarship for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Samantha, a native of Toronto who attends Brock University and trains with the Brock Wrestling Club demonstrates passion, dedication, and excellence on the mats and in the classroom. She serves as a model for what it takes to strive for success in competition and in academics. With the support of her friends, family, coaches, and teammates she is determined that one day her passion and dedication will lead her to her ultimate goal of competing for an Olympic medal.

We caught up with Samantha to get her thoughts on the following questions:

When did you start wrestling, where, and who have been your coaches to this point?

I started wrestling when I was 8-years-old. I heard an announcement at my elementary school, Meadowcrest Public School, calling for all students who were interested in joining the wrestling team to go to the gym and pick up a permission form at recess. I didn’t know much about wrestling at the time and assumed it was something that only boys did. When recess rolled around, my teacher stopped me before going outside and asked if I would be getting a permission form. I gave him a confused look, not understanding why he thought a petite girl like me would be interested in wrestling. However, my teacher told me not to knock it until I tried it. I decided to give it a try and to my surprise, fell in love with it.

My coach at my elementary school was Dan Chartres, who was also a coach at the local wrestling club, Team Impact. Coach Chartres helped me to build my wrestling fundamentals, as well as the determination to become a competitor on the mats.

While wrestling with The Team Impact youth program, I was under the coaching of Dan Chartres, Ken Burgess, Ann Elliott, and Ron Boucher. These coaches continued to build my wrestling skill and help me to prepare for the cadet/juvenile wrestling program. When I reached high school, I was coached by Stan Tzogas, Kerry Ashley, Kyle Chocorlan, Alan Chocorlan, and Ken Burgess, both at my high school, Pickering High, and at Team Impact, alongside other Team Impact coaches: Laura Steffler, Kimin Kim, Mike Quincy, Courtney Lewis, Jay Jordan, Rob Huggins, Paul Harrison, Todd Idenouye, Fred Ortencio, Calum McNeil, and Saeed Azarbayjani

I chose Brock University as my post-secondary institution to attend and I have now been training under the coaching staff of Marty Calder, Dave Collie, Chris Prickett, and Tonya Verbeek for two wrestling seasons.

My success on the mats would not be possible without the help and support of every coach who has guided me and developed my wrestling abilities, both past and present.

What are your goals for the remainder of the year?

For the remainder of the 2018-2019 season, I am training hard to have another gold medal performance at the National Championships this March, and to make the Junior Canadian National team again. In addition, I am determined to improve upon my results at the Junior Pan American Championships last year (5th place) by bringing home a medal, if not winning the tournament for Canada. I am also working towards earning the opportunity to represent Canada at the 2019 Junior World Championships.

Is there a specific career area you are looking at now, or will that be something you determine further into your studies?

Currently, I am pursuing an undergraduate degree in psychology. Upon finishing my undergraduate degree, I would like to obtain my master’s degree in social work. My ideal career of choice is becoming a social worker; I would like to practice social work with a focus on mental illnesses in children and/or adolescence.

What aspirations do you have for international success representing Canada?

My goals for international success while representing Canada are to earn a gold medal at a Pan American and World Championship. I believe that these tournaments are stepping stones to achieve my ultimate goal of becoming an Olympic athlete one day. With hard work and dedication, as well as the endless support from my family, friends, coaches, and teammates, I aspire to not only become an Olympic athlete, but bring home an Olympic gold.