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Power Corporation of Canada champions women’s sports with $1.3M to Concordia Stingers

Major gift will fund suite of awards and development programs for women’s basketball, hockey, rugby and soccer
November 18, 2022
By Ian Harrison, BComm 01

A new $1.3-million gift from Power Corporation of Canada to Concordia Stingers athletics will transform women’s varsity sports at the university.

The generous support from the Montreal-based corporation will fund a suite of annual financial awards open to women’s basketball, hockey, rugby and soccer players.

In addition to athletic awards, Power Corporation’s gift will energize the efforts of women’s varsity programs at Concordia to develop the complete student athlete through support for:

  • Leadership, health and well-being
  • Community outreach
  • National competitiveness

“Power Corporation of Canada has made one of the largest philanthropic gifts in Stingers history, which is a game changer,” says Concordia President Graham Carr. “This will have a remarkable impact on women’s sports at Concordia and allow our players to become the leaders of tomorrow.”

WATCH: Concordia Stingers coaches and players describe what it takes to succeed in varsity sports

Power Corporation’s Peter Kruyt, BComm 78, former chair of Concordia’s Board of Governors, says the company takes great pride in supporting women’s sports at the university.

“Concordia fosters tremendous athletic talent, as demonstrated by its recent U Sports national championship in women’s hockey,” says Kruyt, who performed the ceremonial puck-drop before the November 18 game between the Stingers and the Montréal Carabins. “Power Corporation is honoured to help build on this legacy of success.”

‘It will bring a lot of visibility to our women’s programs’

“This kind of donor support empowers our work as coaches,” says Julie Chu, Stingers women’s hockey coach and 2022 RSEQ Coach of the Year.

Serena Tchida, a second-year basketball forward who made the RSEQ conference’s 2021-22 all-rookie team, appreciates the respect for her team of elite student athletes.

“I want to say thank you,” says Tchida. “It feels good to know that people think highly of us and offer their support. It takes a lot off our shoulders and it will bring a lot of visibility to our women’s programs. It will help us recruit — women choosing a university will look hard at a program and how its athletes are supported.”

It’s all about empowering women athletes says Olivia Hale, current hockey captain and an integral part of the 2022 Stingers women’s championship team.

“This gift is meaningful in helping us amplify our voice,” says Hale. “I think it will help us improve as athletes and give us the confidence to be leaders and make a difference beyond our sports. It’s amazing to have donors who recognize our efforts and invest in our ability to go further.”

Four-time Olympian and Stingers women’s hockey coach Julie Chu says Power Corporation has given her program a significant boost.

“Team success is about so much more than game-day performance,” says the 2022 RSEQ Coach of the Year. “This kind of donor support empowers our work as coaches and gives us access to more critical resources to develop our players on and off the ice.”

The gift from Power Corporation will have a considerable impact, agrees D’Arcy Ryan, MA 02, MBA 09, director of Recreation and Athletics at Concordia.

“Our student athletes balance an academic schedule with the demands of competitive sports, which takes a lot of discipline and resilience,” he says. “Our pledge is to facilitate their journey with the tools they need to thrive. Power Corporation’s generosity will help us make good on that pledge for the next generation of women’s varsity talent at Concordia.”

Adds Paul Chesser, BA 94, GrDip 97, vice-president of Advancement and a Concordia Stingers Hall of Fame football defensive end: “With this extraordinary gift of $1.3 million, one of Canada’s leading corporations has changed the future of women’s sports at Concordia. By supporting our efforts to develop the whole individual — and not just the athlete — Power Corporation of Canada is invigorating our ability to recruit new talent and inspiring our players to triumph on and off the field of play. We’re extremely grateful for this visionary donation.”


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