Some big names in sports will have the spotlight in Kelowna on March 28. After more than six months of public consultation, UBC Okanagan will unveil the university’s new varsity team name and logo at that morning’s Valley First-UBC Okanagan Athletics Scholarship Breakfast.
Sponsored by Valley First for the third consecutive year, the fund-raiser breakfast will feature keynote speakers Bob Ackles, President and CEO of the B.C. Lions Football Club, and Luke England, a student in UBC Okanagan’s Bachelor of Management program and captain of the men’s volleyball team.
“This is going to be a momentous morning for us,” says Rob Johnson, Director of Athletics and Recreation at UBC Okanagan. “We will reveal our exciting new team name and logo, plus we’ll hear from one of professional football’s great personalities in Bob Ackles, and a remarkable student athlete in Luke England.”
In a new format, Ackles will be interviewed live on stage by CHBC-TV’s veteran sports director and producer Pat Kennedy. “With Pat Kennedy’s skill as an interviewer,” says Johnson, “I think the conversation with Bob Ackles will offer a unique and rare glimpse inside the world of professional sports – from a CFL Hall of Famer, a former NFL General Manager and a legend in the great history of the B.C. Lions.”
Ackles began his football career as a 15-year-old water boy for the B.C. Lions in 1953, and went on to serve the Lions as director of football development, assistant general manager, and general manager from 1975 to 1986. He spent six years with the Dallas Cowboys, and three years with the Arizona Cardinals. Ackles then moved to the Philadelphia Eagles and spent a year as the Vice President and GM of the Las Vegas Outlaws of the XFL.
The UBC Okanagan Athletics Scholarship Endowment Fund currently provides $7,500 in annual awards to student athletes. The endowment grew by $110,000 last year, supported by generous individual and corporate donors including a $25,000 gift from Central Okanagan business leader Ron Jacobsen, which was matched by UBC, and annual title sponsorship of the event by Valley First.
“We’re proud to be part of this annual event once again and to help create an endowment that benefits student athletes today and in the future,” says Valley First President and CEO Harley Biddlecombe. “This kind of support is really vital in helping student athletes reach their full potential as both competitive athletes and students.”
The breakfast will be held on March 28 at the Coast Capri Hotel in Kelowna. Doors open at 6:45 a.m. and the breakfast program runs from 7:15 to 8:45 a.m. Tickets are $100 each ($1,000 per table), and are available from UBC Okanagan. Contact Ana-Maria Frias at 250-807-8600.
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