Two basketball players from Vanier College are among the 22 student-athletes to receive support from the Collegiate Recruitment Bursary Program created by the Quebec Foundation for Athletic Excellence (FAEQ). The recipients will each get a share of the $44,000 in individual bursaries.
Haris Elezovic and Pier-Olivier Racine are the Vanier College RSEQ division 1 basketball players chosen to receive $2,000 each. The two young men are not only teammates and fellow bursary winners – they are also roommates.
« We just met this year but having the team in common helps, » says Pier-Olivier Racine who is studying social science. « It was really nice and an honor to receive the bursary for sure, a present as I am turning 18 on October 27. »
He has only been playing since he was 14, but his aptitude for the game is evident and he is now enjoying the challenge of playing rival cegeps.
Haris Elezovic started basketball at 12 and would like to pursue it professionally. « But I’m not there yet. I have plenty of things to worry about before that right now. I’m studying commerce and, if basketball doesn’t work, I will probably do something in the business world. »
Both young men say that they are going to help their parents with the money, either through paying their own rent, food or tuition.
This is the first edition of the program and it hopes to encourage the best student-athletes from the RSEQ (Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec) to continue their athletic and academic careers in a Quebec cegep.
“This will go a long way to encouraging academic excellence through sport, and will allow these student-athletes to concentrate solely on their development in the classroom and on the field,” explained President and Executive Director of the RSEQ Gustave Roel in a statement.
The program was started in February and received applications almost immediately. Each candidate was evaluated by Quebec sport federations who identified the student-athletes most deserving of the bursary. A selection committee then made the final selections.