Laura Szendrei Memorial Award established for women’s soccer

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By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications

(ISN) – VICTORIA – Family and members of the Laura Szendrei Memorial Scholarship Foundation Society were on campus Jan. 13 to join the University of Victoria Vikes Athletics and Recreation department for the special announcement of a new endowment in memory of 15-year-old Laura Szendrei.

Szendrei was in grade 10 when her life was tragically taken while on route through Mackie Park in Delta, B.C. to meet her friends to watch a soccer game. The newly-created award has been established in support of the Vikes Women’s Soccer team, by a donation of $25,000 from the Laura Szendrei Memorial Scholarship Foundation Society. These funds were then matched by an anonymous donor, through the campaign for the Centre for Athletics, Recreation and Special Abilities (CARSA), bringing the award total to $50,000 in support of Vikes women’s soccer.

“This really is about prevention through education,” says Brian White, President of the foundation. “We hope that by supporting this scholarship it will impact the students coming to UVic and provide an opportunity for someone who shared Laura’s passion in soccer.”

In addition to that passion, Szendrei embodied all the characteristics of an exceptional student-athlete. The Burnsview Secondary student was an honour roll and French immersion student, a gifted musician and a talented athlete in soccer, figure skating and swimming. Preference for award winners will appropriately go to student-athletes originating from Delta with strong record of leadership and community service.

Since Laura’s death in 2010, family and members of the Delta community have led a Walk, Run and Roll event to raise awareness about violence against women and to raise funds for what is now the Laura Szendrei Memorial Scholarship Foundation Society.

“This event brings the community together and reminds us that we do have a safe community,” said White. “This foundation and the memory of Laura will be continuous and as such, we want to continue to give youth support that they wouldn’t normally have so they can have post-secondary opportunities, particularly for those interested in sport.”

On June 14th, 2015 the 5th Annual Walk, Run and Roll event will take place at North Delta Secondary track. To find out more about the Laura Szendrei Memorial Scholarship Foundation Society and the event, visit http://www.lswalkrunroll.com.

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