Megan Dalziel was, in the words of her former coach and educator, a perfect teammate – humble, complimentary, well-liked but competitive.
The G.P. Vanier grad and University of Victoria athlete exemplified what it meant to be an inspiration to others, particularly to excel as a female athlete who competed at a high level athletically and academically but came from a small community.
That’s why a committee within the Comox Valley composed of former Vanier educators, alumni and community members has created a bursary in her name to honour the teacher, mother and wife who passed away in July of cancer at the age of 41.
The G.P. Vanier Secondary Megan Dalziel Memorial Bursary will be awarded later this year to a graduating female Vanier student who has shown excellence in athletics and academics; is pursuing post-secondary education and reflects the personal attributes shown by Dalziel.
The committee’s goal is to raise funds in order to keep the bursary in perpetuity.
“Megan had such a love of the Comox Valley, and was a most positive influence,” explained Hugh MacKinnon, who coached Dalziel at Vanier and sits on the committee.
“Coming from a smaller community, in Megan’s mind I believe, was a strength, not a hindrance and it made her the excellent person she came to be.”
Dalziel was a multi-sport athlete; she led Vanier to the provincials in volleyball, she succeeded in track and field and played on her school’s basketball team – her first love, noted MacKinnon.
She succeeded in the sport so much, she declined volleyball scholarships to post-secondary schools in the United States in order to play basketball at UVic, where she led the team to two national championships in 1998 and 2000.
Following her time at UVic, Dalziel taught and coached at York House School – an independent day school for girls in Vancouver.
MacKinnon explained Dalziel was “disarmingly humble,” and recalled a time coaching her in senior girls’ basketball.
“She was clearly the best player on the court, but she came up to me one day and whispered very subtly ‘pick someone else for all-star,’ because that’s the type of person she was. She loved her teammates, she loved her opponents, it was just a win-win with her,” he said.
“To have such a role model for girls is amazing – she shows that any girl from a small town can do anything she wants. Her legacy is what we want to honour and what we want in our young people – kindness, empathy, humbleness. She was friends with everybody.”
The committee is appealing to the community, former staff, educators, alumni, neighbours and friends for donations to the bursary, which can be dropped off or sent to G.P. Vanier Secondary, 4830 Headquarters Road, Courtenay, B.C. V9J 1P2, c/o Counselling Department re: Megan Dalziel Memorial Bursary.
For more information or questions, contact MacKinnon at 250-339-0661.