Student Learning

Endowments provide sustainable support to student athletes in the Okanagan

Photo: Capri Insurance’s Tim Miller(L) and Robin Durrant (R) congratulate student athlete Buster Truss (centre) on being the sixth recipient of the annual Capri Insurance Athletics Entrance Scholarship
Capri Insurance’s Tim Miller(L) and Robin Durrant (R) congratulate student athlete Buster Truss (centre) on being the sixth recipient of the annual Capri Insurance Athletics Entrance Scholarship. Photo courtesy of UBC Okanagan Campus

 

While pursuing a first-class education, varsity athletes also train and compete at the highest level of amateur competition in Canada, and volunteer in their community.  Such diverse obligations leave little time for paid employment which is why endowments are so critically important to their success.

Exceptional athletics programs are built with the help of exceptional supporters. Donor-funded endowments ensure the university can enhance the athletic and educational experiences of its students while easing their financial burdens.

Buster Truss, a member of the Heat men’s basketball team with an impressive sports resume, was a first-year, Bachelor of Science student at UBC’s Okanagan campus in the spring of 2015 when he became the sixth recipient of the annual Capri Insurance Athletics Entrance Scholarship. The $2,500 scholarship is supported by an endowment established by Capri Insurance to help top scholars, who are also top athletes, attend UBC’s Okanagan campus.

“It is a true honour to receive the Capri Insurance Athletics Entrance Scholarship. This award gives me the support and motivation to concentrate on my studies. Being a student-athlete drives me to do the best in the classroom and out on the court. Support from Capri Insurance helps me balance both,” says Truss.

“These student athletes develop great leadership skills which they can transfer to the building of strong and healthy communities upon graduation,” says Tim Miller of Capri Insurance. “We are happy to offer our continued support in helping them reach their goals.”

Building a robust scholarship endowment requires substantial support from the community. Four years ago, UBC Okanagan moved into the Canada West division of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS). Raising the game also means raising the bar to attract top Heat players to the varsity program.

Due to the generous support of long-time community partner Valley First, over the past ten years the annual Valley First/UBC Athletics Scholarship Breakfast has helped to raise $610,000 for UBC Okanagan’s Athletics Scholarship Endowment. The fund is a fast-growing component of the campus’ student athlete financial assistance program with some $16,500 in awards disbursed in 2015.

The goal is to build an endowment that will provide support for student athletes today and for decades to come while simultaneously helping to build an outstanding varsity athletics program in the Okanagan.