A local businesswoman has established an award that aims to develop and help local talent achieve their academic and athletic dreams while being close to home.
In partnership with the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame, the Vikes will give $3,000 each year to support a woman entering an undergraduate program at UVic from a secondary school in the Greater Victoria region and who competes for a Vikes varsity team.
The Sybil Verch Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame Award was established by donor and alumna Sybil Verch, who graduated with her Bachelor of Commerce from UVic in 1997.
“Victoria has raised many elite student-athletes and I want to support and encourage them to stay in Victoria to compete at the varsity level, while earning a degree. Victoria is a great training location for most sports, it is a beautiful place to live and provides young student-athletes with a strong support network of friends and family. I have a specific focus on supporting female athletes as they have previously been underrepresented in sport related scholarships,” said Verch.
These days, Verch serves as the Executive Vice President, Head of Private Client Solutions at Raymond James Ltd. She also hosts her own finance talk show, The Wealthy Life. Verch is very engaged with supporting Gustavson students, from setting up the Sybil Verch Woman in Business Award to giving generously through speaking and mentoring. She was this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award recipient for Business.
“I am inspired by the positive change in sports as it relates to gender equality, but we still have more work to do in this area. There are many valuable life lessons learned from playing sports: teamwork, community involvement, dedication, drive, discipline and leadership. These lessons help build future leaders in our community. I am proud to support young athletes in their journey to be the best they can be,” said Verch.
The award will be handed out annually each January, along with all other athletic awards including the Bate Family Award that the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame also initiated. Over the course if its history, the GVSHOF has evolved into a sustainable community institution with a permanent exhibition area that not only celebrates the achievements of past and present athletes but also promotes the role of athletics in the University of Victoria community. To apply for the Sybil Verch Award, eligible students must submit an application by October 31, 2020; for full application details visit: https://www.uvic.ca/registrar/safa/entrance-scholarships/dept/athletics.php