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U Sports drops first-year grade requirements for participation, scholarships

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Laval Rouge et Or quarterback Arnaud Desjardins is tackled by Conner Delahey of the Saskatchewan Huskies during the first half of the Vanier Cup in London, Ont., Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022. Canada’s governing body of varsity sports is changing its policies to allow students entering universities to be eligible to participate in sports and receive athletic scholarships regardless of their grades.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Robins


Canada’s governing body of varsity sports is changing its policies to allow students entering universities to be eligible to participate in sports and receive athletic scholarships regardless of their grades.

U Sports said in a statement Thursday that enrolling student-athletes will be able to play and receive scholarships as long as they have been accepted to a member university and enrolled in degree-granting courses.

The changes will come into force for the 2024-25 season.

Currently, student-athletes to have an 80 per cent average in their final year of high school or CEGEP to be eligible for an entering athletic scholarship and a 60 per cent average to be allowed to play varsity sports in their first year.

Also, beginning in the 2024-25 U SPORTS institutions will be required to give a minimum of 45 per cent of their total athletic scholarship units to athletes on men’s teams and a minimum of 45 per cent to athletes on women’s teams.

An athletic scholarship unit equals 100 per cent of tuition and mandatory fees for any student-athlete during an academic year.

“These changes intend to remove systemic barriers impacting a student-athlete’s ability to participate in U Sports and receive funding assistance for pursuing their education,” Pierre Arsenault, U Sports chief executive officer, said in a statement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 28, 2023.

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Athlete of the Month

Renegades squad recognized for incredible season

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The Alberta Sport Development Centre – Central (ASDC-C) is pleased to announce that the ASDC-Central Athlete of the Month for September 2023 is the Red Deer Renegades 17UGirls Soccer team.

This past competitive season, the Renegades 17UG finished 2nd in the Alberta Soccer Tier 1 Provincial Championship in a notable and unique performance for the Renegades Soccer Club.

Additionally in the 2022-23 season, the team captured the Tier 1 Gold Medal in the Fall 2022 Caledonia Cup; the Silver Medal in the 2023 Tier 1 EMSA Indoor League; the Gold Medal in the 2023 BTB Spring Cup; the Bronze Medal in the 2023 Tier 1 EMSA Outdoor League. Further the team travelled and competed at the 2023 Southern California Del Sol PDT in Phoenix, and the 2023 Premier International Cup in Vancouver.

Team Roster 

Jaymin Ball, Ava Balon, Amanda Beasley, Arden Berry, Bryce Hanusich, Jenna Jennings, Emma Larochelle, McKenna Leslie, Olivia Lundell, Emma Lundell, Jaeda Marquart, Isabella Pritchard, Kylie Ross, Hallie Ross, Fati Sesay, Brielle Simonot, Kennedy VanArragon, Jaidin Wiebe,

Coaching Staff

John Leslie, John Beasley, Kristen Leslie, Ajdin Sarcevic

Technical Staff

Ado Sarcevic, Esad Elkaz, Steve Fullerton

It is clear to the Red Deer soccer community that the athletes, staff, and families of the 17UG Renegades will continue their successes into their futures as they have shown an outstanding commitment to their sport and their development. In fact, seven (7) players from the team have already signed scholarship offers with the RDP Queens Soccer team beginning in the 2024-25 ACAC/CCAA season.

ASDC-Central thanks Tom Bast Sports for celebrating the ASDC-Central Athlete of the Month recipients by the provision of commemorative apparel for each recipient.

ADSC-Central Athlete of the Month – Renegades 17UG Soccer

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