On Sept. 29, McMaster Athletics inducted four McMaster University alumni athletes into the McMaster Athletics Hall of Fame:
- Football: Kwame Aidoo, ’05
- Men’s Rugby: Aaron Carpenter, ’07
- Women’s Golf: Katie (McIntyre) Schmidt, ’05
- Women’s Basketball: Chiara Rocca, ’07
The 34th annual induction ceremony and dinner was an intimate gathering held in the Therese Quigley Sport Hall in the David Braley Athletic Centre, with the inductees closest friends, families and supporters in attendance.
The night was filled with memories and laughter as the inductees reflected on their time as student-athletes.
The first inductee, Kwame Aidoo was a cornerback for five years on the Marauders football team. He followed in the footsteps of his older brother Kojo Aidoo, a fellow Marauder football Hall of Fame recipient. Aidoo was a four-time Ontario University Athletics All-Star, Canadian Interuniversity Sports All-Canadian in 2002, the 2004 co-recipient of the Coaches’ Award for perseverance and leadership and a member of McMaster’s Team of the Decade for 2000-2009.
Throughout his successful career at Mac, one thing Aidoo understood that it would not last forever, so it was important to look towards the future. Now looking back, 20 years removed from the last time he stepped foot on campus as a student, Aidoo attributes his best memories of being a student-athlete to McMaster’s family-based atmosphere.
“As much as it’s a big university, it is very intimate, so network in the community and get to know your classmates,” said Aidoo.
The second inductee of the night, Katie Schmidt, was the pioneer member of the McMaster Women’s Golf team. Schmidt captured the OUA women’s individual golf title in 2002 and again in 2003. She was also a three-time Marauder Scholar, being recognized for her outstanding academic performance, and won the Edna Guest Award in 2005.
When asked what advice she would give current McMaster student-athletes, Schmidt said, “Play a sport you love and continue to play but work hard at school because that’s what means the most.”
Aaron Carpenter was the third inductee, being recognized for four outstanding seasons on the Marauders rugby team. Carpenter was the OUA Rookie of the Year in 2002, and during his time here, he helped his team to three OUA Championships (2002, 2003, 2005) and one silver medal (2004). A three-time OUA All-Star and the OUA Most Valuable Player in 2003, it was no surprise that he took his talents to the professional level in England and to the international stage, playing for the Canadian national team.
“I had an amazing experience,” said Carpenter. “It was difficult obviously because you’re putting in a lot of time into rugby and trying to prove yourself there as well as trying to stay on top of your classes, so you need to lean on friends and family for support.”
Carpenter now resides in England and was not able to make it to the induction, but two of his biggest supporters, his parents, received the award in his honour.
Lastly, Chiara Rocca was inducted for her contribution to McMaster women’s basketball. In her first year, Rocca was named OUA Rookie of the Year and a member of the 2004 CIS All-Rookie team. Rocca’s career accomplishments include being a four-time all-star, OUA and CIS Defensive Player of the Year and Most Valuable Player in 2006, two OUA Championships in 2006 and 2008, a CIS bronze medal in 2008 and is currently the all-time leader in OUA career rebounds with 760.
“It was the best five years,” reflected Rocca. “The friends I made there are still my friends now. The games that we won I’ll cherish but the friends that I made and experiences that I had at Mac is what I’ll cherish the most.”
The night was an overall success as the inductees were welcomed with open arms to join Marauders legends in the Hall of Fame. Congratulations again to all the inductees.