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CMU student records announcements for the Canada Summer Games

CMU student Jason Friesen recorded PA announcements for the Canada Summer Games.

If you attend the Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg this summer, chances are good that you’ll hear Jason Friesen’s voice.

This past spring, Jason recorded announcements that will be broadcast over the PA systems at venues throughout the games, which start tomorrow (Friday, July 28).

The announcements endorse the companies and organizations that are supporting the games, and also let spectators know things like where they can buy merchandise and how they can connect with the games on social media.

Jason, who completed his fourth year at CMU this past April, has some prior recording experience, thanks to taking the Media Workshop class with David Balzer, Assistant Professor of Communications and Media at CMU.

The class teaches students how to research, write, and record interview segments for broadcast on the radio and internet.

Jason worked with Balzer, recording engineer Darryl Neustaedter Barg, and Canada Summer Games Host Society media relations consultant Monique Lacoste to record the English version of the announcements at the studio in Mennonite Church Manitoba, which is located next to CMU’s Shaftesbury campus.

CMU students Emily Hamm, Jason Friesen, Thomas Friesen, and Canada Summer Games Host Society media relations consultant Monique Lacoste pose for a picture in the recording studio.

Recording the announcements was a fun experience, Jason says.

“It feels like a different level when it’s going to be broadcast in venues across Winnipeg and people from across Canada will hear it,” he says.

“It really makes you focus on what you’re saying and how you’re saying it, that you’re doing it right and doing it in a way that grabs people’s attention while they’re at these venues.”

Jason, who is majoring in Communications and Media, is an avid sports fan and a member of the CMU Blazers Men’s Volleyball team.

“Watching sports, you always hear these announcements going over the loudspeaker,” Jason says.

“That will be me now, I guess. It’s a dream come true in some senses—not one I had set my mind to, but it’s neat to take advantage of (the opportunity).”

CMU student Thomas Friesen has spent the past year working as one of five sports and venues coordinators for the Canada Summer Games.

The opportunity came about as a result of Thomas Friesen (no relation to Jason), a CMU student who has spent the past year working as a sports and venues coordinator for the Canada Summer Games Host Society.

In addition to coordinating the venues and volunteers for the volleyball, golf, basketball, and triathlon competitions, Thomas’s work has involved producing the content that will be broadcast over the PA systems at the games. (Read more about Thomas’s experience working for the Games here.)

Like Jason, Thomas is majoring in Communications and Media. He took the Media Workshop class during the winter 2016 semester, which sparked his interest in getting CMU involved when it came time to recording the announcements he needed for the games.

Thomas knew that working with David, Darryl, and Jason would result in a professional recording.

“Just to get CMU involved in that way seemed like a great idea,” Thomas says. “They did an awesome job. They sound great. It’s pretty cool to think we’ll have (a CMU student) being the English voice of the games.”

This year’s Canada Summer Games will include 16 sports and 250-plus events featuring more than 4,000 athletes.

Over 7,000 volunteers were recruited to make the games possible, and more than 20,000 visitors are expected at the events.

The games start this Friday and go until Sunday, August 13. It’s the 50th anniversary of the games.

For Thomas, a lifelong sports fan who has played soccer and volleyball with the CMU Blazers, working for the games has been a dream come true.

“One of the best things about it is just working with people in sport,” Thomas says.

He adds that the passion he’s encountered from his supervisors, colleagues, and the volunteers is palpable.

“That’s probably the coolest thing,” he says, “always seeing that passion everywhere we go.”

Student Profiles

CMU student recognized with Terry Fox Humanitarian Award

NickCzehrynEditedMost children haven’t even heard the word hemophilia, let alone know what it means. But at a young age, Nick Czehryn became familiar with the hereditary genetic disorder—which impairs the body’s ability to control blood clotting—because his father has it.

As a result, Czehryn and his family have been long-time volunteers with the Hemophilia Society’s Manitoba chapter. He can recall being nine or 10 years old, helping the society set up charity races.

His work with the Hemophilia Society is one of the reasons Czehryn was recognized earlier this year with a Terry Fox Humanitarian Award, which aims to encourage Canadian youth who strive to emulate Terry Fox’s courage and determination by providing their communities and those in need with humanitarian service.

Czehryn’s volunteer work doesn’t end with the Hemophilia Society. He is involved with the worship band at his church, Windsor Park United, where he is also a Sunday School teacher. He has also given his time volunteering for SOAR Heartland, a drop in centre for children, and as a camp counselor and lifeguard at Luther Village.

As a student at Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute (MBCI), Czehryn participated in mission trips to Winnipeg’s inner city areas, was a member of Youth in Philanthropy, and was the co-president of the student council. Athletically, Czehryn is an avid soccer player, badminton player, and swimmer.

“I’m really thankful that I ended up getting the Terry Fox award,” says Czehryn, who is currently in his second year of a Psychology degree at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU).

“It’s been a great opportunity, and it’s also made it possible for me to do things like play soccer and get involved in other things because it takes a lot of the financial pressure off. It makes more room for doing more volunteer stuff and athletics, and getting involved in that kind of way.”

After graduating from MBCI in 2012, Czehryn was accepted to a different university, but ultimately chose to come to CMU because it would allow him to play soccer, a sport he’s played since he was five years old.

“It’s been a ton of fun playing on the team. It’s been the best soccer team experience I’ve had in my life.”

Czehryn also enjoys CMU’s community life and small class sizes.

“I really enjoy being in a class where there isn’t 200 people and you’re not a number to the prof—especially in the first and second year courses, it’s been nice to have relationships with the profs, be able to ask questions, and get useful feedback from the get-go,” he says.

“I also like the community aspect of CMU. It’s not come to school, go to class, go home—you can come, you can hang out, you know the people here, and it’s a lot of fun.”

In addition to his school and athletic commitments, Czehryn still makes time to volunteer with the Hemophilia Society. After he graduates from CMU, he plans to go to medical school and become a doctor—a plan that was inspired at least in part by his father’s hemophilia.

When he was young, Czehryn always asked his parents about his father’s blood disorder, wondering things like, “Why is dad different? Why can’t he do certain things?”

That inquisitive nature has stayed with him.

“Through all that learning I did when I was younger, it got me really interested in how the body works … why things don’t work, that kind of stuff,” Czehryn says. “And from there, it just kept building as I’ve grown up.”

“Hopefully after med school I’ll be able to make a difference in some way.”


CMU student athletes achieve academic excellence

When Danielle Klassen has a moment of free time to study, she uses every minute of it.

Klassen is one of 14 CMU students who achieved a 4.0 GPA in a full-time course load while also competing on a CMU athletics team.

“Balancing school and sports can definitely be a challenge,” says Klassen, a first-year student from Calgary who attends Foothills Mennonite Church.

“(This past semester) I had to make sure I was using my time efficiently. I also made an effort to try to get assignments done ahead of time instead of leaving them to the night before.”DanielleKlassen1

The time commitment needed for things like practices, games, and traveling for tournaments can be substantial.

But the time and dedication needed to excel at both academic and athletic pursuits points to more than just an ability to work hard.

According to Russell Willms, CMU’s Director of Athletics, such abilities tend to translate well outside the CMU world, pointing to strength of character and ability to succeed after a student has long since graduated.

“The time, energy and attention that we have witnessed this year is a testament to the dedication of these students,” says Willms.

Nick Czehryn just completed his first year at CMU with a 4.0 GPA, while playing for the CMU Blazers soccer team.

Although achieving the athletic-academic balance is challenging for Czehryn, the rewards outweigh the costs.

“There’s a high level of play, and good competition. Everyone’s excited to be there, and achieving a good balance isn’t as hard as I thought it might be. I enjoy being together with my team.”

Klassen also appreciates the time spent with her teammates.

“It is a priceless gift to be able to pay with girls who can be focused on the accomplishments of others as well as their own achievements,” she says.

Events General News News Releases

CMU to Host Major Futsal Tournament

Copa de la Paz (Cup of Peace) offers new way to strengthen friendships through sports

On January 20 to 21, CMU will host its inaugural Copa de la Paz (Cup of Peace) Futsal Tournament in the Loewen Athletic Centre.
“This is a major event for us as we make efforts to increase the soccer opportunities for our CMU soccer programs as well as the other collegiate programs in Manitoba,” says CMU Director of Athletics Russell Willms.

Developed in South America, Futsal, or fútbol de salon, (hall or indoor football) is played by teams of five players, with one member of the team being a goalkeeper on an indoor court, where walls are not in play. The rules create an emphasis on improvisation, creativity, and technique as well as ball control and passing in small spaces.

The tournament will feature men’s and women’s teams from University of St-Boniface, Providence University College, Red River College, and the hosting teams from CMU. Local Premier Development League club, WSA Winnipeg, has also committed support by providing a raffle prize-pack that includes a pair of season tickets to its upcoming 2012 PDL campaign, joining other tournament sponsors Home Run Sports and Little Caesar’s Pizza.
“We are happy to have the soccer community behind us in this way and we hope that this tournament will lead other Manitoba colleges and universities to get involved to host similar events,” adds Willms.

CMU is hopeful that the Copa de la Paz will also promote continued development of  sportsmanship, friendship, and camaraderie amongst the Manitoba players. “We often say at CMU, ‘Peace is at the heart of everything that we do.’ It is out of this campus focus that the Cup of Peace has taken its name. It is our hope that this tournament will be a means by which new friendships can emerge among our athletes through sports.”

Day passes are available at the gate for $3 for Adults and $2 for Students.


Friday, January 20
6 PM                  Red River v. St-Boniface (Men)
7 PM                  CMU v. Providence (Women)
8 PM                  Red River College v. St-Boniface (Women)
9 PM                  CMU v. Providence (Men)

Saturday, January 21
10 AM               CMU v. Red River (Women)
11 AM                 CMU v. Red River (Men)
12 PM                 Providence v. St-Boniface (Men)
1 PM                  Providence v. St-Boniface (Women)
2 PM                  St-Boniface v. CMU (Women)
3 PM                  Red River v. Providence (Men)
4 PM                  Red River v. Providence (Women)
5PM                   St-Boniface v. CMU (Men)
7PM                   Women’s Championship Final
8PM                   Men’s Championship Final

Competing in the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference, CMU plays in a league comprised of nine universities and colleges in Manitoba and Minnesota.  CMU is also a member of the Association of Christian College Athletics (ACCA).

CMU Blazer teams compete in soccer, volleyball, and basketball from September to March, playing MCAC league games as well as a number of tournaments with universities and colleges in Canada and the US.

Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) is an accredited Christian university offering undergraduate degrees in the arts, music, music therapy, theology, and church ministries, and master degrees in theological studies and Christian ministry. CMU is a member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC). Located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, CMU has over 1,700 students at its Shaftesbury Campus in Southwest Winnipeg, at Menno Simons College in downtown Winnipeg, and enrolled through Outtatown, CMU’s adventure and discipleship program. Visit
News release posted January 18, 2011
For Blazers Athletics information, contact:
Athletics Director Russell Willms

Canadian Mennonite University, 500 Shaftesbury Blvd. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3P 2N2