SURREY – A Clayton Heights Secondary teen who died in a car crash last week will have an athletic scholarship created in her name at her high school.
Chantal MacLean, 17, was one of the victims who died on Thanksgiving Monday along with her boyfriend, Cody Kehler, also 17, on Highway 10 west of Scott Road in North Delta.
Shakeira MacLean, Chantal’s older sister, said the scholarship is important for the family to carry on the rugby star’s memory.
"The idea is we just want to be able to support a student with the same kind of characteristics and passion and determination Chantal demonstrated for so many years," she said.
Shakeira said her sister was a lifelong soccer player, and although she was asked to join the rugby team for years, she didn’t try it until high school. But once she got onto the pitch she found her true calling.
"My mom was saying she watched her first game and she was like, ‘Oh man, this is her sport.’ So, she really had a knack for it, even though she started late. She was determined."
Chantal even trained with the boys rugby team at Clayton Heights. Shakeira recalled one time when she went with the boy’s team to a fitness facility for conditioning.
"The boys were throwing up and passing out and she was just lapping them," said Shakeira, laughing. "She loved her sport and (loved) working hard to be good at it."
Chantal met Cody when he moved to Surrey from North Delta and confided in her sister that she had a "huge crush" on him.
"It took a while for him to smarten up but eventually it happened and they had been dating for over two years already," said Shakeira.
The two played a lot of the same sports, which is what made them a good pair, she added.
"They understood their commitments to their team and themselves."
A celebration of Chantal’s life was planned for Wednesday, Oct. 22, at Christian Life Assembly in Langley.
Shakeira said earlier this week that everyone was welcome to join the family, regardless of how well (or not) they knew Chantal personally.
"This is a time to celebrate her spirit – so if you feel connected to her from the stories you’ve heard, or maybe she tackled you once on the field, or simply smiled at you in the hallway, feel welcome to join us."
Those wishing to attend Cody Kehler’s celebration of life are welcome to join the family at the same venue on Friday, Oct. 24.
If you’d like to contribute to the Chantal MacLean Scholarship Fund you can leave cheques or deposits at any Coast Capital Savings Branch.