National MBA Games, Organized by VIU, Set Fundraising Record

Members of the VIU MBA Games competing team proudly display the Queen’s Cup, given to the event’s overall winner. From left: Gurleen Kaur, Navin Yadav, Nneka Otogbolu, Hailey Millet and Adtya Kumar.

January 16, 2017 - 1:45pm

Vancouver Island University the overall winner of the 2017 event, which supported the anti-violence Moose Hide Campaign

The 2017 national MBA Games are officially over – but their legacy will live on, thanks to a host of impressive achievements.

The annual business-student competition was held in Nanaimo and area from Jan. 2-4 – marking the first time in the event’s 30-year history that it was held on the West Coast.

Also for the first time, Vancouver Island University was the overall MBA Games winner.

Perhaps most impressively, the event raised a record amount of money for its charity partner, the Moose Hide Campaign, which is working to end violence against Indigenous and non-Indigenous women and children.

“I am so proud of the student success on display at the 2017 MBA Games, and the event’s lasting legacy through its impressive support of the Moose Hide Campaign,” says Dr. Ralph Nilson, VIU’s President and Vice-Chancellor. “This friendly competition has fostered so many positives – fellowship and networking among hundreds of MBA students, a sense of West Coast pride and place, and economic benefits for the regions that VIU serves. It’s truly been an honour to host the MBA Games.”

In total, the Games raised $300,000 in support of the Moose Hide Campaign and its Safe Space, Safe Place initiative, which aims to end violence against women on Canadian university campuses.

“We’re overwhelmed by the support that we received at the 2017 MBA Games,” says Paul Lacerte, Co-Founder and CEO of the Moose Hide Campaign Development Society. “We experienced a deep, shared sense of purpose around Moose Hide’s values and the values of the Games.”

The fundraising effort was generously supported by Montreal’s J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, which provided matching funds of up to $150,000 as part of its commitment to Moose Hide – another MBA Games first.

Of the overall total, VIU raised $45,000 – the highest amount raised by participating schools (more than 500 MBA students from 19 Canadian universities attended the 2017 MBA Games).

Two late-breaking donations, from Vancity credit union and an anonymous donor, also helped the Games reach its record fundraising amount.

The Safe Space initiative will roll out in the coming months at Canadian universities. Schools will be able to apply for Safe Space grants to develop and implement projects, such as safe walk programs for female students.

Other Safe Space ideas that were proposed at the Games included the development of a “safety app” and requesting universities to identify safe spaces on their campuses to encourage conversations about preventing violence against women.

The MBA Games featured students competing in academic, team sport and spirit competitions. VIU claimed top spot in the spirit category, due in part to its fundraising prowess and success in other spirit events. VIU’s cumulative results from the various competitions also resulted in the University winning the Queen’s Cup, given for the Games’ overall winner.

“We are so honoured and humbled by the opportunity to win the overall competition,” says Nneka Otogbolu, VIU’s Team Captain. “We came in with a strategy that allowed VIU to come out on top.” Winners in the other categories included the University of Victoria (academic competition) and Hamilton’s McMaster University (sports competition).

“Our vision of showcasing the quality of students and the quality of education at VIU has been achieved,” says Omar Karim, Chairman of the MBA Games Organizing Committee. “We were honoured to provide a red-carpet, West Coast experience and really take the Games to the next level.”

Additional quotes:

“I was truly impressed with the individuals I met. Their passion wasn’t about winning or losing – it was about learning and understanding.” – Dominik Beckers, Vice Chairman of the MBA Games Organizing Committee

“It’s all about the awareness that we’re creating, especially regarding the Safe Space initiative. As a team that’s what we’re most proud of.” – Lira Ufuoma, Operations and Communications Facilitator, MBA Games Organizing Committee



Communications and Public Engagement, Vancouver Island University

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