Bobcats announce six Academic All-Canadians

August 27, 2009

BRANDON, MB – Brandon University Athletics is proud to announce six Bobcats were named Academic All-Canadians from the 2008-09 season. This award is presented to student athletes who maintain an A-minus grade average while playing for a varsity team in the CIS. That translates to a GPA of 3.7 or higher at BU.

“Competing in the demanding Canada West conference as well as receiving academic honours is a real example of the ultimate student-athlete,” says Athletic Director Kirk De Fazio.

The Bobcats Academic All-Canadians were split between two teams with the women’s basketball having four athletes and the men’s volleyball team the remaining two.

From women’s basketball are Jennalee Burch, Amanda Fortin Chelsey Hiebert and Christie Anne McCullough. Shaun Funk and Patrick Thompson receive the honour while playing on the bronze medalist men’s volleyball team.

“Brandon University’s 3.7 GPA standard is amongst the highest standards for achieving Academic All-Canadians in Canada. Other CIS universities with similar grading scales follow a standard of 3.0 to achieve All-Canadian status,” says De Fazio. “If this were the case at Brandon University, 25 Bobcat athletes would receive honours; with nearly the entire women’s basketball team who had a team GPA of 3.36.”

In earning the highest team GPA at BU, the women’s basketball team will be awarded the President’s Shield in the fall from Brandon University President and Vice Chancellor, Dr. Deborah Poff.

“I am proud of all my student-athletes, and it is a testament to their hard work and sacrifice that they have earned this award,” says women’s basketball head coach, Jaime Hickson. “Christie-Anne, Chelsey, Jennalee and Amanda push each other and their teammates to consistently strive for excellence on and off the court. Our team prides itself on managing and balancing our demands and responsibilities. These four ladies are walking examples about the success our women’s basketball team is experiencing and I am beaming with pride.”

Jennalee Burch (Brandon, MB) had to sit out most of her fifth and final year of eligibility with multiple concussions. She completed an under-graduate degree while a member of the Lady Bobcats and is finishing her final year in the education after degree program.

“It’s a great feeling. Earning Academic All-Canadian honours was always a goal of mine while playing for the Bobcats,” says Burch. “It’s not an easy thing to do – balancing school and sports while still trying to be involved in the community. So achieving this title is something I’m very proud of.”

Amanda Fortin (Saskatoon, SK) has now been named Academic All-Canadian in both years she has been a member of the Bobcats. The second-year guard is pursuing her degree in physical education.

Chelsey Hiebert (Winnipeg, MB), a forward with the Bobcats, studies the oboe as a performance major in Brandon University’s School of Music. She is the only current Music Student-Athlete in CIS Basketball.

Christie Anne McCullough (Outlook, SK) is a fourth-year point guard that transferred from Canadian Mennonite University at the beginning 2008-09.

Patrick Thompson (Forrest, MB) receives the honour in his fifth and final year of eligibility while Shaun Funk (Winkler, MB) becomes an Academic All-Canadian for the second consecutive year. Thompson has completed an under-graduate degree at BU and is now finishing his final year in the education after degree program. Funk is pursuing his science degree. Both were members of the 2008-09 CIS men’s volleyball bronze medalist team.
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For more information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Jaime Hickson
Head Coach, Women’s Basketball
Brandon University
P: (204) 727-7431
hicksonj@brandonu.ca

Russ Paddock
Head Coach, Men’s Volleyball
Brandon University
P: (204) 727-7382
paddockr@brandonu.ca

Kirk De Fazio
Athletics Director
Brandon University
P: (204) 727-7405
defaziok@brandonu.ca