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By Natalie Wise, Vikes Communications

November 27, 2012, VICTORIA, B.C. – On Nov. 24, at the 28th annual Harriers Gunner Shaw Memorial 10-km Cross-Country Classic, the University of Victoria Vikes men’s and women’s cross-country teams received a $10,000 cheque from the Prairie Inn Harriers club. The money will go towards setting up the “Ken Smythe Cross-Country Bursary,” an annual award given to a male or female Vikes cross-country athlete in need of financial support.

Originally from Melbourne, Aus., Ken Smythe was a top-ranked amateur cyclist and an avid runner. One of the founding members of local running club the Prairie Inn Harriers, Smythe was well-known in the Victoria running community and as a fierce competitor ran sub-3:30 marathons well into his mid-sixties. When the day came that he was no longer able to run, Smythe remained involved as he led the club’s walking contingent and handed out post-race hot chocolate to participants at many of the local events.

To date, the Prairie Inn Harriers have raised over $100,000 for UVic scholarships and awards, mainly through hosting events such as the Gunner Shaw Memorial. Members of the Smythe family were on hand to present the cheque to University of Victoria Vikes manager of athletics, James Keogh, and Vikes alumni officer Teri Kerr.

“It’s amazing that we have so much support for our athletes coming from the local sports community,” said Kerr. “It really showcases the close relationships that we have with some of these local organizations and it demonstrates that people truly believe in the importance of investing in the education of our student-athletes.”

For more information on the athletic scholarships, awards and bursaries that are available to our student-athletes, please visit the Student Awards and Financial Aid webpage.