Olympians featured at 2009 Athletics Scholarship Breakfast fund-raiser

Three Olympic medalists will be flashing their Olympic “bling” and sharing their story at the 2009 Valley First UBC Okanagan Athletics Scholarship Breakfast in April.

Drawing on the excitement that’s building in advance of the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, the UBC Okanagan annual Athletics Scholarship Breakfast will feature interactive talks with gold-medalists Ben Rutledge and Jake Wetzel, who took top spot in men’s eight rowing at the Beijing Olympics, and Kelowna native Scott Frandsen, who won a silver medal in men’s pair rowing.

Now in its fourth year, the Athletics Scholarship Breakfast has raised more than $210,000 for the Athletics Scholarship Endowment Fund, which was created to help attract and retain the outstanding student athletes that are so important to high-level varsity athletic programs.

The event is one of the most effective ways for businesses and individuals to support UBC Okanagan athletes, as the university provides a matching gift for every ticket/table purchased, says Rob Johnson, Director, Athletics and Recreation at UBC Okanagan. Tickets for the Athletics Scholarship Breakfast can now be purchased online.

“Student athletes face the difficult task of balancing a full academic work load with a demanding athletic schedule, which often includes road trips, strict training routines, practices, games and community work,” says Johnson. “This makes it nearly impossible for them to work part-time. To be competitive at the highest levels of varsity sports in Canada, we have to support both the academic and athletic dreams of our students. It is the only way that we will be able to keep top athletic talent in the valley, as well as recruit other talented student athletes to come here.”

Johnson and the Athletics Scholarship Breakfast planning committee hope to raise $50,000 to $70,000 at the 2009 event (including the university’s matching donation), which would bring the endowment to more than 25 per cent of its $1-million goal.

“With Christmas just around the corner, a ticket to the Athletic Scholarship Breakfast could be the perfect gift for the person who has everything,” adds Johnson.

The 2009 Valley First UBC Okanagan Athletics Scholarship Breakfast will take place on Friday, April 3 at the Coast Capri Hotel Ballroom. Tickets are $1,000 per table or $100 per ticket and will be available starting Monday (Dec. 1). Other sponsorship opportunities are available. A tax receipt for 70 per cent will be issued.

For more information visit http://www.ubc.ca/okanagan/athletics/supportingstudentathletes/breakfast.html

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