Students take top honours in regional leadership competition

As the clock ticked down, Ruth Benoy carefully studied her team. Despite the anxious atmosphere that comes in the heat of competition, the first-year Accounting student knew she had made the right decision.

With a thumbs-up from her peers supporting her move in the regional Collegiate Leadership Competition (CLC), Benoy knew she was doing her part to lead Brock’s team to victory.

The identification activity, which allowed only 30 seconds for teams to answer trivia questions on subjects they had studied, was one of six challenges taken on by the Brock team during the March 30 competition.

Though it was Brock’s first time entering the CLC, the six-member team won the regional competition and later found out they placed 16th overall in a pool of 58 teams when the results for all of North America were released on Thursday, April 25.

The CLC aims to provide students with real-world leadership skills while also teaching them to work collaboratively with others.

Starting in January, the team, comprised of students from several Brock Faculties, practised weekly to prepare for six 45-minute challenges designed to test the abilities of each team member to lead designated tasks and follow processes learned in the previous months.

This year activities included setting up 400 dominos, completing a series of puzzles, silently arranging 100 numbered cards and wagering points before making split-second decisions on questions about the terms and concepts the team had reviewed during their late-night practice sessions.

With each team member leading an activity, Benoy took charge during the 30-second identification challenge, where a points wager was made before the questions were asked.

“It was difficult to have a group discussion in 30 seconds, so we used a thumbs-up signal to make sure everyone was on the same page,” she said. “I knew that I needed to remain calm as the leader of that activity to set the tone for the rest of the team.”

After finishing Benoy’s activity with only one incorrect answer, the team went on to accumulate 790 total points to beat six other teams from Southern Ontario as well as representatives from University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Coach Amber Scholtens, Manager of Student Leadership and Engagement, said the months of effort the team put in were apparent during the competition.

“There were times when my heart was in my throat, and I was not even competing,” she said. “But our team remembered to stay calm and follow the example of each student as they took their turn to lead an activity.”

The thrill of winning her first competition left Benoy feeling proud on a personal level as well as on behalf of Brock.

“I learned how to handle pressure under time constraints and to learn rules on the fly,” she said. “Our win shows how great Brock is and what Brock students are capable of.”

To learn more about Brock’s CLC team, visit the Student Life and Community Experience website.

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