Awards News

New for 2021, the Mitchell Family Alumni of the Year Awards Presented by Makadiff Sports honours the long-time champions of the U SPORTS Athlete of the Year ProgramThe Honourable Lois and Doug Mitchell, and celebrates eight former varsity athletes who have become leaders in their communities, and recognizes the continued contributions by each alumnus to their alma mater. Winners will be announced virtually on Thursday, May 20.

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Lee Anna osei
Laurier Golden hawks
Vaughan, Ont.
Bachelor of History '15
Master of History '16

A former OUA Second Team All-Star and three-time U SPORTS Academic All-Canadian with the Laurier Golden Hawks, Lee Anna Osei is leaving a large impact as a coach advocating for fellow women and social justice.

During her playing career, Osei established Canletes, a volunteer-based not-for-profit organization started in 2012 dedicated to encouraging, engaging and empowering women and girls in sports across Canada. Since then, the organization has helped hundreds of females launch their athletic careers through recruitment consulting, strength and fitness training, events, mentorship and networking.

More recently, Osei has had an even larger impact as the founder of the Black Canadian Coaches’ Association (BCCA), where she has gathered a network of colleagues in efforts to celebrate coaches of colour, promote advocacy through allyship and foster a culture of networking to help create meaningful opportunities for advancement.

In championing this initiative, Osei’s impact has been felt not only at Laurier, but in communities across the country, giving an opportunity for Black Canadians the opportunity to be to celebrated and empowered within the sports industry. To date, the association has created formal mentorship programs and hosted events centred on education and raising awareness. The organization has also launched The Racial Equity Project, a call for U SPORTS and Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) athletic departments to collect race-based data in order to validate Black athletes’ experiences and create an evidence-informed approach to deconstructing oppressive and discriminatory practices and policies

For her efforts, Osei was recognized with various awards including the Outstanding Women of Laurier (2014-15), the Laurier Graduate Students’ Association Top 30 under 30 (2017), and the OUA’s Joy Bellinger Award (2014-15) for excellence in academics, athletics and community service. She is also two-time recipient of the Vasha Award celebrating academic achievement and contributions to Laurier’s History program.

Today she is the head coach of the StFX X-Women basketball program.

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“Lee Anna has been a trailblazer for BIPOC coaches across the country. When she founded the BCCA in 2020, the resulting impact was felt by coaches and non-coaches at all levels in all sports. She was also a tremendous community leader when she trained under-privileged athletes in Toronto and the number of people she positively impacts continues to grow!”

Peter Baxter - Director of Athletics and Recreation, Laurier