For the second time in history, the VIU Mariners were named the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association’s (CCAA) Academic All-Canadian institution by having the most provincial conference All-Star players with a B+ grade average.
VIU beat out every other college and university governed by the CCAA across the country with eight players named to the list: Stephen Ewashko and Matt Mehrassa, men’s soccer; Samantha Rodgers, women’s soccer; Melissa Liew and Pat Thompson, badminton; Shayna Worthington, women’s basketball; Leanna Gildersleeve, women’s volleyball; and Tory Zaytsoff, men’s volleyball.
Bruce Hunter, VIU’s Athletic’s Director, is excited with the Mariners recognition away from the game, saying, “This award shows the calibre of student athletes that the Mariner program is able to attract and the commitment to excellence shown by our coaches and athletes.”
Bill McWhinnie, head coach of VIU’s women’s basketball team, is pleased with the award and Worthington’s name being on the list.
“I believe that striving for academic excellence is more important than anything. To me, this means that we truly recruit ‘student-athletes’ at VIU,” McWhinnie says. “This is a great accomplishment for [Worthington], she has worked very hard this year to get to this moment. She is one of many girls on the women’s basketball team that excels in the classroom.”
The Mariners also won the PacWest aggregate award, recognizing the best all-around athletic program in the conference. VIU has won this award for seven consecutive years.