U SPORTS proudly announced Monday the student-athletes selected as Top 8 Academic All-Canadians for the 2019-20 season.
On the men’s side, the nominees are UBC Thunderbirds swimmer Markus Thormeyer, Laurentian Voyeageurs basketball player Kadre Gray, Laval Rouge et Or cross country runner and track sprinter Jean-Simon Desgagnés, and fellow track and field star Matt Coolen of the Dalhousie Tigers.
This year’s female honourees include swimmers Kelsey Wog of the Manitoba Bisons, Marie-Lou Lapointe from the Montreal Carabins and Isabel Sarty representing the Dalhousie Tigers, along with Queen’s Gaels multi-sport star Sophie de Goede, who competes for the school’s women’s rugby and basketball teams.
In lieu of a formal ceremony at Rideau Hall, the elite group will participate in a public virtual conversation with Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, in mid-February, due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The Governor General’s Academic All-Canadian Commendation was founded by the Right Honourable David Johnston, former Governor General of Canada, who first honoured Canada’s Top 8 student-athletes in 2013.
“We are extremely proud of the Top 8 for their overwhelming academic success during the 2019-20 season. Faced with immense challenges, this year’s class of Academic All-Canadians adapted remarkably to altered COVID-19 learning environments, demonstrating their leadership in the classroom and in their respective communities.”
Dick White – Interim CEO of U SPORTS
The selection of the Top 8 follows last week’s announcement of over 4,900 U SPORTS student-athletes who achieved Academic All-Canadian status in 2019-20, having maintained an average of 80 per cent or better over the academic year while competing for one or more of their university’s U SPORTS varsity teams. Among these outstanding individuals, one female and one male student-athlete from each of the four U SPORTS conferences are selected annually to make up the Top 8.
In the lead-up to this year’s event, U SPORTS is set to run a national promotional campaign in collaboration with long-standing partner Sherrard Kuzz LLP, highlighted by a Top 8 alumni feature series, a leadership development program and professional mentorship. Led by former U SPORTS student-athletes, Sherrard Kuzz continues to serve as the Official Supporter of those selected to the Top 8 and the U SPORTS Academic All-Canadian Program.
“The opportunity to support the Top 8 Academic All-Canadians has been our pleasure and honour,” said Michael Sherrard, founding partner of Sherrard Kuzz, and a former men’s basketball student-athlete and coach with the UNB Reds. “High-performance student-athletes are hard-working and resilient, they take nothing for granted and are always striving to get better at what they do. They are precisely the people corporate Canada, including firms like ours, want and need as part of our future Canadian executive leadership teams. The combination of athletics and academics created balance and discipline throughout my university experience. Without athletics, I would never have succeeded academically.”
All members of the Top 8 will also receive a customized ring from Baron, the Exclusive Providerofchampionship rings and recognition jewelry for U SPORTS.
For the All-Time Top 8 Academic All-Canadians, click here.