Five North Okanagan women and three Lake Country students are among a record 97 UBC Okanagan student-athletes recognized for academic excellence.
The quintet recognized as Academic All-Canadians includes Coldstream’s Jordan Korol, and Vernon sisters Brianna Falk and Kelsey Falk from the UBCO Heat women’s basketball team, and Heat women’s soccer players Maya Bandy of Coldstream and Maddy Laranjo of Vernon.
From Lake Country, earning All-Canadian academic honours were Austin White of the UBCO men’s cross-country squad, Ben Magel from men’s volleyball and Kenzie Wallace from the Heat’s women’s volleyball team.
All eight achieved an 80 per cent and higher grade point average (GPA) while representing the Heat in interuniversity sport competition in 2019-20.
The recognition ceremony was held virtually. The honourees came together online and were joined by university senior leaders, faculty representatives, coaches, staff and alumni to celebrate their achievements.
The record number of student-athletes honoured for their outstanding achievements in the classroom this year is even more impressive when you consider the actual numbers, noted UBCO Director of Athletics Tom Huisman.
“Of the 212 Heat student-athletes who were eligible for this recognition last year, 97, or 46 per cent of all our student-athletes earned this distinction last year, well above the national average of 30-35 per cent,” he said. “This is both the highest number and highest proportion of student-athletes that have earned this distinction in the 10 years since we became a U SPORTS member.”
To be recognized as Academic All-Canadians, student-athletes need to continue with their high academic achievement while also practising, playing, and travelling with their teams up to 40 hours each week.
Kelsey Falk, Bandy and Wallace were recognized in the study of Bachelor of Science; Brianna Falk is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing; Laranjo and White are in the field of Bachelor of Human Kinetics; Magel is studying for a Bachelor of Applied Science; Korol was honoured in the Bachelor of Arts field.