VIU Mariners soccer player receives CCAA Torchbearer Scholarship

Split screen shot of Shea Battie smiling for a profile photo on the left, and in action on the turf on the right student Shea Battie received the 2023 CCAA Torchbearer Scholarship for 2023.

April 18, 2023 - 2:15pm

Vancouver Island University (VIU) Mariners Women's Soccer athlete Shea Battie is a recipient of the CCAA Torchbearer Scholarship for 2023 for her work in helping to build peace through play.

A fifth-year winger majoring in Kinesiology, Battie's international initiative began following a connection with Journey House Actions Rwanda (JHA), a non-profit program based in Gashora. Introduced to JHA by VIU Kinesiology Professor Les Malbon, she started the Play for Peace campaign to unite communities and youth through sport after learning about the generational impacts of the Rwandan Genocide.

"Shea's desire to bring benevolent outcomes to youth through the vehicle of sport and play is impressive," said Malbon. "The project was diverse and presented numerous logistical operations from start to finish. Shea was the driving force in its success."

Battie launched the initiative by creating a campaign email, developing a sponsorship package for potential donors, and educating central Vancouver Island athletic, school and community groups. She then sourced equipment and uniforms from local and regional soccer clubs, hosted tournaments to raise awareness and donations, engaged her VIU Mariners teammates in the project and arranged the shipment of the proceeds overseas.

"Despite a lack of experience leading a project like this, I chose to undertake this initiative because I wanted to support and advance equity for a community in need," said Battie. "I felt Journey House Actions' vision and mission aligned with my own values."

The Play for Peace campaign collected approximately 500 jerseys, 250 pairs each of cleats, socks, shin pads and shorts as well as the money required to ship the gear to Rwanda. Battie hopes the donations enhance the lives of the children in Gashora by providing them with opportunities to connect through soccer and potentially heal their collective trauma.

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Media Contact: 

Eric Zimmer, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University

P: 250.618.7296 | E: | T: @VIUNews

Tags: Community Engagement | Kinesiology | Mariners | Athletics

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