Shaw Corporate

Surrey students get Rio Olympic medalist mentor

Classroom Champions and Shaw Communications expand program to more local elementary schools

October 20, 2016

Surrey, BC (October 20, 2016) – Six classrooms in Surrey are particularly excited about school this year—they will be mentored by a Rio Olympic Bronze medalist, made possible by the continued commitment of Classroom Champions’ longstanding community partner Shaw Communications Inc.

Green Timbers Elementary, Bear Creek Elementary, and William F Davidson Elementary will see two classrooms at each school be paired with track and field athlete Akeem Haynes, who has just returned from Rio winning the Olympic Bronze Medal in the Men’s 4x100 Relay. This special virtual mentorship program will allow Akeem to spend the full school year giving video lessons and Skype chats with participating students.

“Having an Olympian or Paralympian speak to a classroom can motivate and inspire kids in unique ways,” said Chethan Lakshman, Vice President, Communications and Public Relations, Shaw Communications. “Being able to bring these athletes and role models to classrooms in Surrey and across the Lower Mainland provides students with examples of what can be achieved with hard work and determination.”

Classroom Champions connects Olympians and Paralympians with local schools across North America for ongoing virtual mentorship. Using video lessons and live video chats, students are motivated to recognize their potential, set goals and dream big. It’s the first and only in-school program that brings Olympians and Paralympians into the classroom to provide ongoing mentorship. As part of the program, participating classrooms are equipped with the latest technology tools - tablets, televisions, laptops – to help teachers incorporate digital literacy into their curriculum.

“The commitment Shaw has shown to the students and teachers of the Surrey area is extraordinary,” said Steve Mesler, Olympic and World Champion, and President and CEO of Classroom Champions. “Through the teachers in and around Surrey and Classroom Champions, students will learn how to set goals, play fair, and give back to their communities in a new way – and that’s something we should all be proud of.”

“I’m looking forward to meeting and touching base with each and every one of them,” says Haynes. “What I’m here to do is to try to give them my opinion on ways they can be successful. I want them to make the best decisions for themselves, to make themselves better, and those around them better. We’re going to have a lot of fun.”

“Classroom Champions has had a huge impact on my teaching and my students' learning,” says Angela Griffin, a teacher at William F. Davidson Elementary School who is a returning teacher to the program. “We feel like we are an important part of our mentor's life and it gives us an amazing connection to the outside world.”


About Shaw Communications
Shaw is an enhanced connectivity provider. Shaw serves consumers with broadband Internet, WiFi, video, digital phone and, through WIND Mobile, wireless services. Shaw Business Network Services provides business customers with Internet, data, WiFi, telephony, video and fleet tracking services. Shaw Business Infrastructure Services provides enterprises colocation, cloud and managed services through ViaWest. Shaw is traded on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges and is included in the S&P/TSX 60 Index (Symbol: TSX - SJR.B, NYSE - SJR). For more information, please visit

About Classroom Champions
Classroom Champions is a non-profit organization founded by 2010 Olympic bobsled gold-medalist Steve Mesler and Leigh Mesler Parise, PhD, and is the first and only in-school program to connect Olympic and Paralympic athletes with K-8 students in underserved schools on an ongoing basis. Leveraging the latest technology and donating it to participating schools, Classroom Champions’ Athlete Mentors partner with classrooms for the full school year, establishing a relationship that allows them to help students recognize their potential, set goals, and dream big. Current and past Athlete Mentors include Haley Wickenheiser, Lucas Makowsky, Sam Edney, and Brittany Schussler among many more.

Classroom Champions has grown from its U.S. beginnings to reaching tens of thousands of students in schools and classrooms in the U.S.A., Canada and Costa Rica. Classroom Champions is the only North American organization to be awarded the 2012 World Fair Play Diploma for Promotion of Fair Play by the International Fair Play Committee, established by UNESCO. For more information on the program and participating Athlete Mentors, as well as a view of Classroom Champions at work in the schools, please visit or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google-Plus.