Ajax high schooler wins Andre De Grasse track scholarship

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Published March 28, 2023 at 5:04 pm

A high school track star and an outstanding student at J. Clarke Richardson Collegiate in Ajax has been accepted into the Andre De Grasse Future Champions Scholarship Program, one of just 16 Canadians honoured.

Savannah Blair, a Grade 11 student, was nominated for the scholarship program by her teacher, Sarah Bell-Platnar, who put Blair’s name in last July. Bell-Platnar nominated Blair for her “outstanding efforts both on and off the field, and the ability to persevere.”

The scholarship is aimed at Canadian high school student-athletes who show “considerable promise” in track but are not yet training with a club. The emphasis in the program is on youth from marginalized or remote communities and in sprint/power events.

The Andre De Grasse Future Champions Scholarship Program provides recipients with an annual Athletics Canada branch and club membership, as well as an annual grant to help cover the cost of meet entries, travel, and accommodation. Coaching and mentorship support is also available with former Olympian and two-time Athletics Canada Development Coach of the Year Tony Sharpe (who was also DeGrasse’s first coach), nutrition support from sport dietician Jennifer Sygo and academic support from former university hockey player and long-time teacher (and now student-athlete consultant) Barb Boyes.

Blair said the nomination was “amazing” and she shared the news with Bell-Platnar immediately after getting the call.

De Grasse, a six-time Olympic medalist and the gold medal winner in the 200 metres from the Tokyo Olympics, congratulated all the recipients of the program. “Continue to work hard and make the most of this opportunity.”

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