Jennifer Woods of UBC’s Okanagan campus 2011 champion women’s golf team speaks during the seventh annual Valley First/UBC Okanagan Athletics Scholarship Breakfast Thursday.

Athletics Scholarship Breakfast raises funds for student athletes

Community benefits from numerous volunteer activities by UBC Okanagan team members

Student athletes are not only scholars and competitors—but their participation as volunteers results in community betterment and benefits for many organizations throughout the Okanagan.

More than 300 business and community supporters attending the seventh annual Valley First UBC Okanagan Athletics Scholarship Breakfast at the Coast Capri Hotel in Kelowna Thursday morning heard messages of student involvement, high-level competition and sports psychology.

The sunrise event raises funds that go directly in the Athletics Scholarship Endowment, ensuring that student athletes at UBC’s Okanagan campus have the opportunity to realize both their academic and athletics goals at a top-ranked Canadian university.

UBC President Stephen Toope says events like the Athletics Scholarship Breakfast are vital to the success of Heat teams and the Okanagan campus.

“One of the important objectives is to improve our athletics facilities,” Toope told the crowd. When UBC’s Okanagan campus opened in 2005, there were 3,000 students. Now with an enrolment of nearly 8,000, the challenge is to improve and expand those facilities, says Toope.

Gifts like the $3.5 million that Kelowna residents Mary Jo Schnepf and Barry Lapointe donated for The Hangar Fitness and Wellness Centre will help achieve that objective.

Doug Owram, deputy vice chancellor and principal of the Okanagan campus, says UBC is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its student athletes.

At UBC, student athletes exemplify service to the community through numerous volunteer efforts.

“Our athletics program is connected to our community in many ways, and it also helps build our reputation in other communities across the country,” says Owram. “This year, much more than ever before, we have enjoyed higher visibility thanks to our participation in Canada West competition.”

Owram lauded Okanagan Heat team members for their contribution in such activities as the Wendy’s Dreamlift Day, the Kelowna Food Bank’s “Stuff the Bus” campaign, the Terry Fox Run and the Super Walk for Parkinson’s.

Student athletes also show leadership in staging a number of youth sports clinics, and their own Read to Achieve program with visits to elementary schools.

The Athletics Breakfast also featured student athlete Jen Woods, member of the Okanagan Heat women’s golf team. Keynote speaker was David Cox, sports psychologist from Simon Fraser University, who works with athletes and coaches at all levels of competition in amateur and professional ranks.

Rob Johnson, director of athletics and recreation for UBC’s Okanagan campus says students who excel in both academics and athletics are high achievers interested in doing their best at many endeavours. “I am very proud of our student athletes and their efforts in the classrooms, on the court and in the community,” says Johnson.

Community support is important to the success of students who take up varsity athletics, says Johnson. “We want to hank Valley First Credit Union for its continued support as our title sponsor,” says Johnson. “We can’t thank the community enough for it support of our student athletes. It is very encouraging to see this support at an event like this and it means so much.”

Thursday’s Valley First UBC Okanagan Athletics Scholarship Breakfast has pushed the total for UBC’s Okanagan campus fundraising campaign to $60 million.

Launched in September, the ambitious Okanagan campus campaign aims to raise $100 million and double the number of UBC alumni engaged with the university. Thursday morning’s Valley First UBC Okanagan Athletics Scholarship Breakfast raised more than $50,000 in community and matching support. Now in its seventh year, the morning fundraiser supports an endowment to create scholarships for student-athletes. Over the years, the Scholarship Athletics Breakfast has raised more than $350,000 for student athletes.


Just Posted

Kelowna families honour the dead by releasing butterflies

The Nicholson matriarchs release 33 butterflies

Carr’s Landing Art Tour showcases local talent

14th annual tour in Lake Country July 28-29 and Aug. 4-5

The Okanagan Croatian Club all smiles after World Cup loss

They say winning second place brought Croatia to the world stage

East Shuswap Road wildfire’s fire line being controlled

Firefighters saved an eagle’s nest and eaglets while controlling fire lines

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Course veterans seize victory in Peach City Classic

The first place titles in this year’s triathlon belonged to returning competitors.

Vernon writers launch online workshop for teens, young adults

Storymakers’ Raise Your Voice workshop seeks to help women writers uncover and use voice

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Air quality statement warns of smoky air for Kamloops area

Environment ministry says area on north side of Thompson River may be affected by wildfire smoke

Pussy Riot claims on-field protest at World Cup final

Russian protest group claimed responsibility after four people ran onto field in police uniforms

Fans party on Montreal streets after French World Cup win

To city is home to nearly 57,000 French nationals

Your reviews: John Fogerty rocks the South Okanagan

Photos and reviews from fans in Penticton at John Fogerty’s concert in the SOEC

B.C. VIEWS: Making private health care illegal again

Adrian Dix battles to maintain Cuba-style medical monopoly

Most Read