BlackNorth Initiative

Eight Black student-athletes receive financial and mentorship support

Eight Black student-athletes receive financial and mentorship support November 22, 2022

Inaugural Athletes on Track bursary recipients announced

Today, the first recipients of the Athletes on Track bursary were announced. Eight Black student-athletes from across Canada were awarded the bursary in its inaugural year. To be eligible for the bursary, the student-athletes identified as Black (Afro-Caribbean, African Canadian, and/or racialized), and are enrolled at a Canadian university, as well as being members of a U SPORTS varsity team. The students also demonstrated financial need.

The recipients of the 2022 bursaries are:

Canada West

Aja Sy – University of Northern British Columbia, Women’s Volleyball
Hazim Mohamed – University of Victoria, Men’s Swimming

Ontario University Athletics

Maya Addai – Carleton University, Women’s Rugby
Alexander Odle – Guelph, Men’s Volleyball

Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec

Jessica Salanon – McGill University, Women’s Basketball
Ismail Sow – Université de Montréal, Men’s Soccer

Atlantic University Sport

Kira Atherley – St. Francis Xavier University, Women’s Basketball
Devaughn Blackwood – St. Francis Xavier University, Football

“We know that student-athletes are leaders in their university communities,” says Dahabo Ahmed-Omer, the Executive Director of the BlackNorth Initiative. “Congratulations to this year’s recipients. BlackNorth is thrilled to play a part in creating access for these young community leaders.”

“As the national governing body for Canadian university sport, we are committed to the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion,” said Pierre Arsenault, Chief Executive Officer of U SPORTS. “We are thrilled to congratulate 2022’s bursary recipients and are excited to continue this opportunity to support Black student-athletes.”

In July 2022, BlackNorth Initiative (BNI), in partnership with U Sports, announced the launch of Athletes on Track, a bursary and mentorship program designed to financially support University level student-athletes to supply them with the tools necessary to enter and thrive in the job market once they graduate.

About Athletes on Track Program:

Funded through BNI by Scotia Wealth Management, and Sherrard Kuzz LLP, the program consists of a $5,000 bursary which will be awarded to eight Black student-athletes. A mentor will also be provided to each student by BNI for support and guidance in general skills such as resume building and public speaking, as well as topics targeted more specifically to each student’s requirements.

The Athletes on Track program aims to provide a foundation for Black student-athletes to succeed on and off the field of play by teaching new skills and fostering lasting professional relationships through the BlackNorth  Connect Program. Each bursary recipient will be paired with mentors based on identified career aspirations.

For media inquiries:

Zach Weese
Manager of Governance & Special Projects

John Bower
Director, Marketing and Communications

Shelton Mpala
Manager of Marketing and Communications
BlackNorth Initiative

Sagal Abdi
Program Manager
BlackNorth Initiative