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Sun 'mine' scholarship growth

The Okanagan Sun scholarship fund grew in leaps and bounds Friday.

The BC Football Conference club's fund received a boost with a $25,000 donation from JDS Mining, a local company that builds mines around the world.

This is the fifth year company owner Jeff Stibbard has stepped up to assist the athletes.

Stibbard says he saw what the sport of football was able to do for his two boys as they went through high school at KSS and on to university.

"As some of our high school friends and kids got older we saw we had to move the funding further and further up the food chain," says Stibbard.

"Of course Paul (Carson), Jay (Christenson) and Les (Weiss) were very convincing they could get the money to the right spot and not just put it into a general budget but to target education...which is really what we're all about."

With the donation from JDS Mining and the club's annual Scholarship Dinner, about 27 players will be able to benefit from the scholarship fund this year.

Club President, Paul Carson says the scholarship fund is also a great recruiting tool.

"Every year one of our strongest recruiting tools is our scholarship fund. I think last year we had 18 players who were receiving some kind of scholarship funding," says Carson.

"It's all part of our eventual hopeful move to the next level, the CIS level and as well it's part of our core beliefs that our players should have every opportunity they can when they are here in Kelowna. Not just playing football but going to school."

According to head coach Shane Beatty, without the fund the Sun would not be able to recruit kids who have been at the university level on scholarship.

"We are narrowing the field with the people we are competing against when we can give them money towards school."

The Sun are already on the field practicing and preparing for the start of the BCFC season July 26 in Chilliwack.

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