Sportsnet boss throws $250,000 at Kwantlen journalism program in Surrey

This is the largest donation the program has ever received and much of it will go toward scholarships.

Sportsnet has donated $250

SURREY — Slapping on a KPU cap and taking to the podium, Sportsnet boss Scott Moore announced a $250,000 donation to the university’s journalism program Friday.

“It’s not a gift, it’s an investment,” a beaming Moore told the crowd. “It’s an investment in the future of journalism.”

The Kwantlen Polytechnic University program, he added, is “one that’s worth investing in.”

This is the largest donation the program has ever received and much of it will go toward scholarships.

A veteran sports broadcaster, Moore has more than 20 years of experience. He has covered eight Olympic games and has been part of five network launches. He’s also won an Emmy and a Jack Webster award.

KPU journalism department head Beverley Sinclair expressed  “enthusiastic and heartfelt” appreciation for the contribution.

“The field of journalism is ever-changing. Even as we speak,” said Sinclair, adding the investment will go far in helping develop passionate and skilled journalists.

A $5,000 scholarship for one student each year for five years will pay for them to attend and cover a major sporting event in North America of their choice. That will be the “dream of a lifetime” for those selected, Sinclair said.

“I know we have students who’ve wanted to do this since they were four,” she said.

There will also be a $5,000 scholarship for one student for five years to do storytelling on societal issues relating to sports, such as concussions.

In addition to those, there will be $2,500 scholarships for four students for five years with looser restrictions.

The rest of the money has yet to be earmarked.

Sinclair noted many Kwantlen journalism grads have gone into sports and some have made a big difference, affecting public policy and shedding light on under-reported stories.

Moore’s recognition of the program’s quality was appreciated, she said, adding the 30 students who receive the scholarships will likely never forget it.

“This investment from Rogers has the potential to be life changing,” said Sinclair.

Sportsnet is owned by Rogers Media.

During the announcement, KPU trotted out some of its current journalism students with an interest in sports reporting.

One of them was fourth-year student Crystal Scuor (fittingly pronounced “score”).

“I always aspired to be a Canucks reporter,” the Port Coquitlam resident said.

But through her time in the program, that changed. She now hopes to be a sideline reporter in the NFL.

Scuor explains.

“We were asked to write a paper on a controversial issue in journalism. I was the only one to choose a sports-related topic, which was the concussion issue in the NHL.”

Scuor explored issues that branched from head trauma in sports.

Many people, even some close to her, discouraged her from choosing a topic that “only men would talk about,” she said.

“I’d been told, ‘You’re a girl, you don’t know anything about sports.’ Or, ‘You’ll never understand sports because you’re not a man.”

The statement crushed her but she kept her head up and wrote the paper.

“Actually I wrote about five of them,” Scuor said, adding, “Looking back now, that was my defining moment.”

She has learned all about football since she began studying journalism – she says she’s now a faithful San Francisco 49ers fan – and Scuor said it’s her love of football that made her realize she is destined to have a career as a sports reporter.

She’s been working with blog 604 Now and part of her gig involves hosting online broadcasts.

“Without the journalism program here at Kwantlen I never would have had the opportunity to work with 604Now and I wouldn’t be a broadcast host reporter like I am now,” said Scuor.

She recognizes that shooting to be a sideline NFL reporter is a huge goal and said, “maybe it would be unreachable but I feel that with these scholarships, that goal is more reachable than ever before.”

amy.reid@thenownewspaper.com

 

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