World-class athletes featured at Valley First UBC Okanagan Athletics Scholarship Breakfast

Para-alpine skier Josh Dueck is one of the keynote speakers at this year's Athletics Scholarship Breakfast set for April 9.

Tickets are now available for the fifth annual Valley First UBC Okanagan Athletics Scholarship Breakfast, which raises funds to support scholarships for student-athletes at UBC Okanagan.

This year's keynote speakers are world champion para-alpine skier Josh Dueck, who at 23 was paralyzed from the waist down after overshooting a jump, 20-year-old Kelowna native and competitive ski-cross athlete Kelsey Serwa, and Cam Egan, a world-class cross country skier. Also featured is Dustin Luck, captain of UBC Okanagan's varsity soccer team.

"Kelsey and Josh are both making an impact on the world stage and are medal hopefuls at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics," says Steve Manuel, Chair of the Athletics Scholarship Breakfast planning committee.

Para-alpine skier Josh Dueck

"Cam is on par from a competition standpoint with Josh and Kelsey, but brings another dimension to the mix. Cam is a full-time student at UBC Okanagan and is an example of how our athletic department and our athletic scholarship breakfast are able to support student athletes that are not participating on our Heat varsity teams."

So far, the annual Athletics Scholarship Breakfast has raised more than 25 per cent of its $1 million-goal for the Athletics Scholarship Endowment Fund, which was created to help attract and retain the exceptional student athletes that are so important to high-level varsity athletic programs. It 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 and table purchased.

"It's a wonderful opportunity to support student athletes in our community," says Manuel, adding that they have a very demanding schedule which often doesn't allow time for a part-time job.

"Also, since the breakfast takes place after the competitive season, it's a great time to celebrate the UBC Okanagan Heat accomplishments for the past year.  With the breakfast now in its fifth year, we are already reaping the benefits of this amazing fundraiser. Those who have been supporting the breakfast are encouraged to come out and share in our success, as they have certainly had a hand in our achievements."

The 2010 Valley First UBC Okanagan Athletics Scholarship Breakfast will take place on Friday, April 9, at the Coast Capri Hotel Ballroom. Tickets are $1,000 per table or $100 per ticket and can now be purchased online. Other sponsorship opportunities are available. A tax receipt for 70 per cent will be issued.

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