Press release

Local teachers can bring Olympians into class as virtual mentor

Classroom champions invites teacher to apply to transform their classrooms with an Olympic or Paralympic mentor for the 2017-2018 school year

March 29, 2017

Surrey, B.C. (March 29, 2017) – With the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea around the corner, Classroom Champions is looking to leverage the excitement surrounding the games by accepting new applications for outstanding educators to kick off the 2017-2018 school year.

Starting in September 2017, teachers in Surrey and throughout the Lower Mainland will have the opportunity to partner with Canadian Olympians and Paralympians thanks to the continued commitment of Shaw Communications Inc.

Classroom Champions pairs teachers with Canadian Olympians and Paralympians who use video lessons and live video chats to engage students and encourage them to recognize their potential, set goals, and dream big. Classroom Champions is the first program of its kind in Canada to bring these elite athletes into schools to provide ongoing mentorship. As part of the program, participating classrooms are equipped with the latest technology tools to help teachers incorporate digital engagement into their curriculum.

“It’s exciting to see innovative programs like Classroom Champions using platforms like video conferencing to create memorable and accessible learning opportunities for students,” says Chethan Lakshman, Vice President, Communication and Public Relations, Shaw Communications. “These passionate Olympic mentors bring important life lessons about fair play, positivity, goal-setting and perseverance, and we’re pleased this program will provide children in Surrey and across the Lower Mainland an opportunity to engage and benefit from their experiences.”

Mrs. Sharon Phillips, a teacher at William F. Davidson Elementary, Surrey, B.C., is currently participating in the Classroom Champions program and knows how much the program offers her and her students. “My students get so excited about the video messages; they really build a connection with the athletes. The topics are so important, and I am happy to have a program that links it all together and brings the concepts of perseverance, goal setting, teamwork, and courage together,” says Mrs. Phillips. “I learned so much about technology and building networks last year, and I am excited to continue growing and expanding my professional community. Classroom Champions staff, teachers, and mentors are totally AMAZING, and I am so fortunate to be involved in this program!”

Canadian Olympic sprinter Akeem Haynes mentors Mrs. Phillips’ classroom and others in in Surrey. “My classrooms in Surrey are amazing,” says Haynes. “As a kid, I didn’t have a mentor growing up. To be able to mentor these classrooms is something that I hold close to my heart, so I can show them that I am here to help them dream big and achieve these goals.”

Teachers who are passionate about increasing their students’ social, emotional, academic, and digital literacy skills, and who want to pursue greater professional development and networking opportunities, are invited to apply to Classroom Champions before May 1 through

With the support of Shaw Communications, Classroom Champions currently supports teachers and classrooms at Bayridge Elementary, Bear Creek Elementary, École Riverdale Elementary, Green Timbers Elementary, as well as William F. Davidson Elementary.


About Classroom Champions
Classroom Champions believes kids have what it takes. Sometimes they just need a champion to help them! Founded by 2010 Olympic gold medallist, Steve Mesler, and Leigh Mesler Parise, Ph.D., Classroom Champions is a Registered Charity that teams at-risk and underserved students across North America with Olympians and Paralympians through an innovative, year-long mentorship program. Classroom Champions has a strong track record of helping students stay engaged in school—a critical component in ensuring students complete their education and go on to pursue fulfilling and productive lives and careers. Classroom Champions success in helping to build the critical skills students need to succeed both in and out of the classroom has earned it numerous accolades, including a World Fair Play Diploma. Learn more about Classroom Champions at and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About Shaw Communications
Shaw is an enhanced connectivity provider. Our Consumer division serves consumers with broadband Internet, Shaw Go WiFi, video and digital phone. Our Wireless division provides wireless voice and data services through an expanding and improving mobile wireless network infrastructure. The Business Network Services division provides business customers with Internet, data, WiFi, telephony, video and fleet tracking services. The Business Infrastructure Services division, through ViaWest, provides hybrid IT solutions including colocation, cloud computing and security and compliance for North American enterprises.

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, SJR.PR.A, SJR.PR.B, NYSE – SJR, and TSXV – SJR.A). For more information, please visit

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