Blue Jays salute Sheridan

Jacquelyn Ledrew and Joshua Katz, students in Sheridan's Athletic Therapy program, both received awards on Saturday at a sold out game at the Rogers Centre.

Jacquelyn Ledrew and Joshua Katz, students in Sheridan’s Athletic Therapy program, both received awards on Saturday at a sold out game at the Rogers Centre.



The Toronto Blue Jays honoured Sheridan College Athletic Therapy students Joshua Katz and Jacquelyn Ledrew at a sold-out Rogers Centre on Saturday afternoon.

Katz was awarded the 26th annual Sheridan College Sports Medicine Scholarship. As part of the award, Katz spent his summer interning with the Blue Jays, where he worked closely with the team’s athletic training staff and the players while the team was at home.

“Seeing everything that goes on in a day-to-day basis is awesome,” noted Katz. “Watching this team for 20 years, you don’t really appreciate how hard they work every day and the grind of a 162-game season. It’s really opened my eyes, you have to keep these guys on the field every day and they are very impressive athletes.”

Ledrew, alongside Katz, received the seventh annual Dr. Ron Taylor Award. It is given to the student who demonstrates dedication to their education in athletic therapy as well as leadership qualities through extracurricular activities.

Katz got to work side-by-side with 20-plus year medical veteran George Poulis, head athletic trainer of the Blue Jays.

“Josh’s performance this year was off the charts,” said Poulis. “He wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty and do what needed to get done to be ready for each day. The players love him, his rapport is great and I look forward to watching him grow into a great professional trainer.”

For Katz, this internship was more than something to simply put on his resume. It was a dream come true.

“Two years ago, when he came to Sheridan, [Josh] wanted to win this scholarship,” said Paul Brisebois, one of the professors of the Athletic Therapy program. “This wasn’t something that just sounded cool to him. He researched past winners, asked a lot of questions during the interview process which showed he definitely wanted this.”

In preparation for his summer with the Jays, Katz worked with last year’s recipient, Tommy Kratky. According to Kratky, working with the Blue Jays was his “greatest professional experience” ever.

“I miss it a lot,” said Kratky. “It’s great for Josh, I’m sure he’s enjoying it this year. It’s an exciting time with the Jays and I’m sure he’s learning a lot.”

Katz’s internship ended on the weekend as the Jays finished their last home stand against the Tampa Bay Rays. Now, he heads into his fourth and final year of Sheridan’s Athletic Therapy program, where he will be able to apply his new skills in the classroom.

“Josh will bring a new found confidence with him this year,” said Brisebois. “You grow up quickly in the [clubhouse] when you’re asked to work with professional athletes. The jobs aren’t the most glamorous jobs, but those are the duties that need to be done. So he comes back with some maturity for sure.”

Following graduation and certification, Katz is unsure about where or how he will take his next step, but Poulis seems to have an idea. “If there were a job opening in the minor leagues, a starter position, he definitely could apply and be a candidate. No doubt,” he said.

The internship represents a strong bond between Sheridan College and the Blue Jays for nearly three decades.

“It’s a really good relationship, we give them what they ask for, we work very closely with them and we make it easy for them to access our students and then they do wonderful things for us,” said Sheridan president Jeff Zabudsky. “It’s a great example of a relationship between a world-class program and a top flight organization such as the Blue Jays.”

Sheridan boasts one of the most reputable Athletic Therapy programs in the country. It is a four-year bachelors degree program. “It’s such an exciting program. It is known across the country as one of the best of the best,” said Zabudsky.

The college also has relationships with other professional sports organizations, including the Toronto Argonauts and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

“Much of the success that stems from our [Athletic Therapy] program is thanks to our incredible faculty,” Zabudsky said proudly. “Thanks to our faculty, the students get excellent hands-on opportunities.”