At a special presentation during Cape Breton University’s annual athletic awards banquet, Atlantic University Sport announced that Capers women’s soccer student-athlete Karolyne Blain is the 2015 recipient of the 29th annual James Bayer Memorial Scholarship Award presented by PepsiCo Beverages Canada.
The James Bayer Memorial Scholarship Award was established in 1985 and is awarded annually to an outstanding student-athlete in Atlantic University Sport for excellence in academics, athletics, leadership, sportsmanship and citizenship.
Marg Bayer, wife of the late James Bayer, and Phil Currie, executive director of Atlantic University Sport, were on hand to make the presentation.
“All of us at Capers Athletics and CBU are very pleased Karolyne has been honoured with this award,” said John Ryan, director of athletics at Cape Breton University. “As a former student-athlete, I have a great deal of respect for Karolyne and what she has accomplished in her four years at CBU.”
“Karolyne is one of those rare student-athletes who combine athletic and academic achievement with a genuine concern for the community around her,” Ryan added. “She is a true student-athlete and may be the most accomplished student-athlete in CBU history with her excellence on the field, in the classroom and in the community.”
Blain is a fourth-year striker with the Capers who earned AUS most valuable player nods this past season for the second consecutive year.
The 5-foot-0 native of Copper Cliff, Ont. scored a league-leading 16 goals this season giving her an unofficial AUS single-season record, eclipsing the previous mark of 15 held by UPEI’s Tessa Roach.
Blain led the Atlantic conference in several other statistical categories this season, including shots (53), shots on goal (39) and successful penalty kicks (3/3). She also finished tied for first in game-winning goals with five.
Following this fall season, Blain was named a CIS first team all-Canadian for the second consecutive year. She was also named to the AUS first team all-star squad for the third time in her career.
In Blain’s freshman year with the Capers in 2011, she collected both AUS rookie of the year honours and a spot on the CIS second team all-Canadian squad.
She currently has 43 career regular season goals.
Achieving success in the classroom as well as on the field, Blain has been named an academic all-Canadian in each of her four years at Cape Breton University. She was also the 2014 recipient of the President’s Award, given to the student-athlete with the highest academic average.
Blain held a cumulative average of 94.4% heading into this winter semester and is currently applying to attend medical school following the completion of her bachelor of science.Furthermore, Blain is active in her community both in Sydney as well as at home in Ontario. Spending this past summer in Cape Breton, she volunteered for several charity golf tournaments including Golf for Dad (which raises funds for Prostate Cancer Canada), the Bob MacKenzie Memorial Scholarship Fund tournament and the Capers Athletics’ Fortis Golf Classic.
Blain also volunteered for the Connor Timmons Memorial Scholarship Soccer Tournament as well as with the Riverview Soccer Club as a coach. This coming summer, she will expand her role with the Riverview Soccer Club, becoming technical director for the ages 4 to 8 program.
Blain has also leant her time during the school year to such causes as the Raise-a-Reader program to promote youth literacy, the Shoot for the Cure fundraising initiative for breast cancer, Sport Day in Canada, the local Santa Claus parade and Youth in Motion.
For the past year, she has also volunteered with the Jennifer Keeping AccessAbility Centre as a tutor and proctor for student with disabilities.
“For Karolyne to win this award is a tremendous feat," said Capers women’s soccer head coach Ness Timmons. “She is a pleasure to coach. She is a high achiever in the classroom as well as the on the field. As one of our co-captains, she has been a real role model for the team.”
Each year, the 11 AUS member schools nominate one student-athlete for this prestigious award. As this year's recipient, Blain receives a $1,000 scholarship.
Also nominated were Acadia’s Sean Stoqua, Dalhousie’s Kristy McGregor-Bales, Memorial’s Claire Skanes, Moncton’s Allain Saulnier, Mount Allison’s Emily van Diepen, UNB’s Paige Paulsen, UPEI’s Reggie Traccitto, StFX’s Matthew Cole Grbavac, Laura Langille from Saint Mary’s and Félix Poulin from St. Thomas University. Each of the nominees receive a $500 scholarship award.
James Bayer taught education and physical education at both high school and university levels. He served as supervisor and consultant for the Nova Scotia Department of Culture, Recreation and Fitness.
At Acadia University, he served as dean of recreation and physical education and as director of athletics from 1978-1985. As an administrator in the AUAA and the CIAU, he was a key player in the establishment of intercollegiate athletic policy.
This memorial scholarship is the most prestigious award offered annually by Atlantic University Sport.
Previous recipients the James Bayer Memorial Scholarship Award:
1987 – Greg Berry, StFX University, Soccer; Caroline Lulham, Mount Allison University, Volleyball
1988 – Gunnhildur Baldursson, Acadia University, Soccer
1989 – Jackie Wong, Mount Allison University, Volleyball / Soccer
1990 – Augy Jones, St. Francis Xavier University, Basketball
1991 – Heather Morrison, University of Prince Edward Island, Field Hockey
1992 – Keith Donovan, Dalhousie University, Basketball
1993 – David Sykes, Saint Mary's University, Football
1994 – Kathy McNally, University of Prince Edward Island, Field Hockey
1995 – Scott Bagnell, Dalhousie University, Volleyball
1996 – Carla Edwards, Mount Allison University, Volleyball
1997 – Chris Diamond, University of Prince Edward Island, Soccer
1998 – Peter Benoite, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Basketball
1999 – Jan Trojanowski, Acadia University, Basketball
2000 – Kristen Lewis, Dalhousie University, Cross Country
2001 – Jillian MacDonald, Dalhousie University, Basketball
2002 – Louis Poirier, Université de Moncton, Track & Field
2003 – Dan Tudin, Dalhousie University, Hockey
2004 – Eric Gillis, St. Francis Xavier University, Cross Country
2005 – Adrienne Power, Dalhousie University, Track & Field
2006 – David Chant, Saint Mary's University, Hockey
2007 – Colin Sinclair, University of New Brunswick, Hockey
2008 – Katherine Quackenbush, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Basketball
2009 – Isabelle Miles, University of New Brunswick, Soccer
2010 – Alex Legge, Dalhousie University, Basketball
2011 – Jacob Kilpatrick, University of New Brunswick, Volleyball
2012 – Daniel You, Dalhousie University, Volleyball
2013 – Rebecca Haworth, Dalhousie University, Track & Field
2014 – Alana Fairfax, Acadia University, Soccer
2015 – Karolyne Blain, Cape Breton University, Soccer