Anne Benedetti’s induction into the Cambridge Sports Hall of Fame marks her as one of the few father-daughter combinations—Patti and Don Rope were the first—who have been honoured by the Hall.
“I cannot even express how moving it is to be inducted with my father,” said Anne. “I have always strived to walk in his shoes in every way including in his sports career and it is hard to believe that this is actually happening.”
Anne, a multi-sport athlete throughout her formative days growing up in Cambridge, was a decorated university athlete while at Western and Queen’s.
In her earlier years she excelled in softball, speed skating, basketball and soccer, but only discovered lacrosse while at university.
While in grade school she played basketball with the Kitchener Boys Youth travel team, and during high school she was a point guard for the Cambridge Basketball girls’ travel team.
Benedetti not only led her basketball team to the provincial midget title but was twice named to the Kitchener-Waterloo Record five-person district high school all-star basketball team, an honour she also earned three times during her high school soccer career.
In her six years with Cambridge Basketball she was also named to the provincial Minor and Junior Development Teams which represented the Central West Ontario Region.
She was also a provincial champion short track speed skater, winning her first Ontario title in 1985. In 1986 she skated with Derrick Campbell, and Kevin and Cindy Overland to win the Oktoberfest International Speed Skating Championship in Kitchener.
She followed that up with another provincial short track title in 1987.
It was at Queens University, where she played varsity basketball, that she discovered lacrosse. Soon it became her favoured sport. From 1998 to 2000 she captained Queens University and was head player-coach, leading the team to back-to-back OUA titles.
During her first season with the team, in 1998, she was recruited to play for Team Ontario, which she did until 2006.
In 1999, during her final season at Queen’s, she was named the Queen’s Journal Athlete of the Year. That year she was the league’s top scorer, a conference all-star and league MVP.
She also joined Team Canada, where she played seven years (1999-2005) as a mid-fielder.
A role model for young women, in 2000 she was named to the Canadian Association for Advancement of Women in Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS).
In 2001 she played for Team Canada at the World Cup in England, where her team finished fourth, losing to host England in the bronze medal game.
Following her academic and athletic career at Queen’s, she began studies at Western for her law degree, where she was also player-coach for Western’s lacrosse team.
Given her background in sport, she was selected to be clerk for the Ad Hoc Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) at the Manchester Commonwealth Gamers, assisting staff in running the court, and aiding the arbitrators with any legal or procedural questions arising during the Games.
In 2003 she was named Western’s outstanding female scholar athlete and the following year was invited to study at Oxford University, where she obtained her Master’s of Law degree.
That year she joined Oxford’s Lacrosse Blues, helping them win the British Home Nationals. She also toured with the British Universities Sports Association National Lacrosse Team and was named player of the year for the Oxford varsity team.
Her contributions to sport, as an athlete at home and abroad, and as a coach and builder, helping to develop lacrosse at a grass-roots level by running lacrosse training and development camps for youth and by officiating lacrosse throughout Ontario, are broad.
Benedetti was named to the Western Mustangs Hall of Fame in 2019. “My time at Western, both in the classroom and on the playing field, taught me the skills and gave me the courage I needed to take leaps forward in my life. The fact that the opportunities that I was given at Western led to a moment where I could watch my children find my picture on the Hall of Fame wall in Alumni Hall still feels like a dream.”
As a practicing lawyer in for Goodman’s LLP in Toronto, she served for six years on the executive of the Federal Board of the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada (SDRCC).