Press release

Classroom Champions and Surrey Schools bring award-winning athlete mentorship program to thousands of students through multi-year partnership with Shaw Communications

November 13, 2019

Surrey, BC – Surrey Schools and Classroom Champions are connecting thousands of elementary school students with world-class athletes thanks to a new partnership with Shaw Communications. The $720,000 investment from Shaw will enable students from across the Surrey school district to engage with Olympians and Paralympians through Classroom Champions award-winning scaled mentorship program.

As a result of Shaw’s support, this partnership will engage over 6,000 students and 150 teachers over the next three years. Classrooms will be paired with athlete mentors for the duration of the school year, where they will participate in virtual mentorship sessions to help students strengthen their social and emotional skills, ultimately resulting in higher student engagement, improved academic achievement and a decrease in bullying.

“We are so excited to be expanding this program across the district” says Laurie Larsen, Chairperson of the Surrey Board of Education. “We have heard such positive stories from our teachers previously involved in the program, and seen firsthand the incredible impact this program has had on our students. We look forward to building on this success as we bring more Surrey classrooms into the program. With Classroom Champions, students are improving their goal setting and their perseverance and are more engaged as they see and hear from their athlete mentors the work it takes to succeed whether in sport, in the community, at home or in school.”

“Shaw Communications came forward with an incredible plan of support, allowing us to make sure more kids in Surrey feel connected to a mentor who understands the lessons needed to succeed in school and in life,” says Steve Mesler, Founder and CEO of Classroom Champions. “We wanted to expand in Surrey for a long time; the administration and teachers were excited, and we just needed the resources from the right partner.”

“Classroom Champions inspires students and gives them the confidence and self-esteem to realize that they can do anything they set their mind to — no matter where they come from,” says Chethan Lakshman, Vice President, External Affairs, Shaw Communications. “This partnership connects thousands more kids in Surrey with some of the world’s best athletes while helping them recognize their own potential and learn that no dream is too big.”

Classroom Champions is an international mentorship program that connects classrooms with incredible athletes to teach kids focus, decision making, and belonging so they can shine in and out of school. Over the past nine years, Classroom Champions athlete mentors have mentored over 2,800 Western Canadian students and have reached over 1 million students across North America. Through Classroom Champions Scaled Mentorship platform - athletes provide monthly videos to their student mentees on topics ranging from leadership to perseverance, connected via live video chats and in-person school visits, and messaged on public and private social media. Learn more about Classroom Champions here





Classroom Champions and Surrey Schools launch award-winning athlete mentorship program for thousands of kids across Surrey through multi-year partnership with Shaw Communications.

From L to R: Chethan Lakshman, Vice President, External Affairs, Shaw Communications; Laurie Larsen, Surrey Board of Education Chair; Marvin Hunt, MLA Surrey-Cloverdale; Scott Tupper, Captain, Field Hockey, Team Canada; Steve Mesler, Co-Founder, President & CEO, Classroom Champions, present a cheque at Green Timbers Elementary School in Surrey, B.C.




About Surrey Schools District  

Surrey Schools serves the City of Surrey, the City of White Rock and the rural area of Barnston Island. The public school district is the largest in British Columbia with approximately 74,000 students, 20 secondary schools, 101 elementary schools, five learning centres and a variety of satellite programs, as well as an online school. A rich mosaic of cultures is represented within the student population. Surrey Schools has more than 11,700 employees, including 6,200 teachers.   The district's vision is to prepare our learners to think creatively and critically, communicate skillfully, and demonstrate care for self and others. For more information, visit  


About Shaw  

Shaw Communications Inc. is a leading Canadian connectivity company. The Wireline division consists of Consumer and Business services. Consumer serves residential customers with broadband Internet, Shaw Go WiFi, video and digital phone. Business provides business customers with Internet, data, WiFi, digital phone, and video services. The Wireless division provides wireless voice and LTE data services through an expanding and improving mobile wireless network infrastructure.


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  


About Classroom Champions  

Classroom Champions is a non-profit dedicated to connecting students with world-class athlete mentors. Classroom Champions supports students in academic, social and emotional learning (SEL), and works with teachers and families to encourage children to achieve successful futures. Working predominantly within low socioeconomic urban, rural and Indigenous communities, Classroom Champions has grown exponentially-mentoring more than 35,000 students across Canada and the US and working with 150+ Olympic, Paralympic, university student-athletes, and professional athletes who volunteer as mentors. Students participating in Classroom Champions see significant improvements in the classroom, teachers see improved engagement, and athlete mentors learn new skills to prepare for life after sport. Learn more at:  

For more information, please contact:  


Ritinder Matthew

Manager, Communication Services

Surrey Schools