CapriCMW scholarship awarded to UBCO cross country runner

CapriCMW scholarship awarded to UBCO cross country runner

Emma Kearns is the first cross country athlete to win the CapriCMW Athletics Scholarship.

As a runner, Emma Kearns likes to be the first to cross the finish line. Now, in her first year of university she is also the first UBCO Heat cross country athlete to win the CapriCMW Athletics Entrance Scholarship.

The CapriCMW scholarship totals $15,000. Kearns, while she maintains her status on the varsity team and continues her high academic scores, will receive $3,750 each year over the next four years.

"I cannot begin to express how lucky I feel to have received this scholarship," says Kearns. "I always wished to have the full university experience; academics and athletics. With that comes a lot of training, studying and very little time for a job."

A graduate of École Salish Secondary School in Surrey, she is currently enrolled in the Faculty of Health and Social Development where as a first-year student she is working towards her Bachelor of Human Kinetics degree.

Emma Kearns Just over a year ago, when Kearns was named athlete of the month in her Grade 12 year, she admitted her goal was to get into UBC Okanagan. Not only has she accomplished that, but now, thanks to the CapriCMW Athletics Entrance Scholarship, she can focus on her grades while putting her best foot forward for her team.

"This scholarship will help alleviate some of the financial stresses for myself and more importantly, my parents. I can now focus my attention on my education and running for the Heat," she adds.

CapriCMW is a committed community partner with UBCO, and they are keen to support the Heat and assist the university's varsity programs in their ability to attract and retain the very best student athletes. "We are thrilled to support student athletes here in the Okanagan," said Robin Durrant, Co-Chairman at CapriCMW. "Leadership skills are developed through effort, teamwork and perseverance which are characteristics these students have in abundance. We are so proud to share in the development of these future leaders. The future is bright indeed."

Although one of our youngest varsity programs, the UBCO Heat women's cross country team is one of our most decorated, says Director of Athletics and Recreation at UBC Okanagan Tom Huisman 

In just seven seasons competing at the collegiate level, the UBCO women's team climbed the podium on four separate occasions, claiming one bronze medal finish, one silver, and two national titles. There has been no shortage of individual accolades as the team consistently has one of the highest percentages of National Scholars, has produced numerous conference and national all-stars, as well as an individual national champion in Veronika Fagan. The program looks to build off of that history and duplicate that level of success at U SPORTS and Canada West —the top level of interuniversity sport in the country— where the team has competed for the past two seasons. 

"Led by our head coach, local legend and Olympian Malindi Elmore, our cross country teams have unquestionably had one of the best developmental seasons of all schools across the country while we continue our pursuit of academic and athletic excellence in a COVID environment. Living and training at altitude up at Big White while taking most classes online, our UBCO runners have had an incredible fall and are planning on building upon that moving forward," says Huisman. "While formal competitions have been scarce, Emma wasted no time in showing she belongs at this level by placing second in her first race down in Abbotsford in September, and along with her impressive academic record coming out of high school, she is a most deserving recipient of the prestigious CapriCMW scholarship."