The Rick Blight Leadership in Action Scholarship for Athletes
If you are an athlete living in the Lower Mainland or in the Sea-to-Sky Corridor who is passionate about your sport and has made efforts to support your personal mental health and wellness or that of your sports team or community, we want to hear from you. This scholarship is made possible by the Vancouver Canucks Alumni.
Born in Manitoba in 1955, Rick Blight had a long career as an exceptional athlete, selected by the Vancouver Canucks 10th overall in the 1st round of the 1975 NHL draft. As is often the case with high performance athletes, Rick experienced both highs and lows over his career. He was a top scorer for the Canucks during his first three years in the NHL, leading the team in scoring in the ’76-’77 season. Rick played in the NHL for another three years before traveling to Switzerland to continue his career in the minors after a knee injury. Rick retired from professional hockey in 1983 and began a career as a stockbroker before moving back to Manitoba to manage his family’s tractor/implement business. He was a prominent and well liked business man in the community. Rick never gave up his love of sports and excelled in both curling and golf. Rick also continued to be involved in hockey, coaching his son’s teams for a number of years. Rick died by suicide in 2005 at the age of 49, leaving his wife, children and 4 grandchildren to cherish his memory. He was very proud of his children’s accomplishments; his son is now a high school teacher and his daughter a registered nurse.
PURPOSE OF SCHOLARSHIP
In tribute to Rick’s life, the Crisis Centre is offering the Rick Blight Leadership in Action Scholarship for Athletes as a means to recognize the presence of mental wellness within athletics. Athleticism has the potential to be incredibly life promoting. It can also be competitive and prioritize physical wellness at the expense of mental and emotional well-being. The Rick Blight Scholarship seeks to recognize athletes who have demonstrated both a dedication to leadership in their sport and an ongoing investment in their personal mental wellness and/or that of their sports team or community. Actions in support of one’s personal mental wellness and/or that of their sports team or community may be demonstrated through things such as visiting a mental health professional, encouraging peers to reach out when in need, involving oneself in emotionally-sustaining community activities, supporting anti-stigma efforts, forming LGBTQ alliances, or attending community events mandated to promote mental wellness.
- A leader in your personal mental wellness and/or that of your sports team, or community;
- Demonstrating a dedication to your sport; and
- Currently enrolled in Grade 12 at a Lower Mainland/Sea-to-Sky Corridor high school.
Deadline for applications is Friday March 2, 2018 at 5pm. Five scholarships valued at $1,000 will be awarded. Award recipient will be asked to attend the Crisis Centre’s Annual General Meeting in East Vancouver in May 2018 to receive their scholarship. Recipient(s) may be asked to film a short video, provide a sound bite, or write a testimonial/blog post with us to raise awareness of the scholarship program and to highlight their contributions to mental wellness.