Ottawa – Athletics Canada, in partnership with the Athletics Canada Foundation, announced today the recipients of its 2018 Athletics Canada Foundation scholarships – Erika Binder of Robert Thirsk High School (Calgary) and Vaughn Taylor of Michael A. Riffel Catholic High School (Regina). The scholarships are part of Athletics Canada’s ongoing partnership with School Sport Canada (SSC) and high school athletics. Once again, AC will live stream the Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association (ASAA), British Columbia School Sports (BCSS) and the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) track and field championships on AthleticsCanada.tv.
“The mission of the Athletics Canada Foundation is to support athletes. Too many student athletes have to give up sport so they can attend university. Our scholarship program hopefully allows more athletes to continue their career in athletics while completing their education,” said Athletics Canada’s Chief Executive Officer Rob Guy. “On behalf of Athletics Canada and the Athletics Canada Foundation, I’d like to congratulate Erika and Vaughn for winning this award and to acknowledge their outstanding efforts both on and off the track. Best of luck in your final high school meets and throughout the 2018 outdoor season.”
Binder, who will attend Simon Fraser University in the fall, is both a sprinter (200m and 400m) and hurdler (300mH and 400mH). In 2017, she was named Team Co-Captain of Canada’s Commonwealth Youth Games athletics team where she placed fourth in the 400-metre hurdles. She also stood on top of the podium at the ASAA Track & Field Championships in the 200-metres and 300-metre hurdles (a new Alberta provincial record) and was named Athlete of the Year at Robert Thirsk High School. Binder is a multi-sport athlete who competes in soccer, badminton and field hockey. Off the track she volunteers at a soup kitchen and acts as a peer mentor to other students at her high school.
“I am grateful to Athletics Canada and its Foundation for giving me the opportunity to continue pursuing my dreams,” said Binder. “The scholarship will allow me to focus on my academics, train, participate in high-calibre events and to become the best athlete I can be. The Commonwealth Youth Games ignited a fire inside me to work even harder on the track to represent Canada on future national teams. I’m looking forward to starting a new chapter of my track career this fall at Simon Fraser University and to further explore my potential as an athlete and person.”
A member of Canada’s 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games team, Taylor (sprints and middle-distance track athlete) started participating in track and field in Jamaica before moving to Canada at the age of eight. In 2017, he captured a silver medal in the 400-metres at the Commonwealth Youth Games, setting a new Saskatchewan provincial record, and received the Bob Adams Foundation Award. Taylor is an avid basketball player, enjoys spending time working with special needs children (currently working a production called That’s Possible with a group from his high school), performs on the drums at his church and has helped execute a Run Jump Throw Wheel clinic with his local club. He will attend the University of Victoria this fall.
“My goal is to compete in the Olympic Games and to impact people on a global scale through athletics and my positive attitude to rise above any hurdle that may come my way,” said Taylor. “I’m thankful that Athletics Canada and the Athletics Canada Foundation selected me to receive this scholarship so I can have access to proper nutrition and maintain my high-level training at the West Hub, while balancing the intensity of a new academic work load at the University of Victoria.”
Binder and Taylor will be presented with their scholarships at their provincial high school championships taking place later this week.
Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association Track & Field Championships
June 1-2 (Red Deer)
Saskatchewan High School Athletics Association Track & Field Championships
June 1-2 (Prince Albert)
For more on the Athletics Canada Foundation and its scholarship program, visit www.athletics.ca/acf.
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