Canadian Interuniversity Sport announced Nov. 5 that fourth-year Acadia cornerback Caoimhe McParland is the 2014 winner of the CIS award, given to the student-athlete who best combines academics, athletics and community service.
The CIS release described McParland, a Halifax native, as “an exemplary student-athlete, balancing athletics, academics and extensive community involvement.”
McParland - who won the Atlantic University Sport award last week, which automatically put her into contention for the CIS honour - follows in the footsteps of her currentteammate Alana Fairfax, who won the CIS award in 2012, and 2011 winner Cathleen Bleakney.
McParland currently maintains a 3.97 grade point average in her studies toward a bachelor of scince degree. Over her three-plus years as an Acadia student, her GPA is 3.96.
On the field, she was part of an Axewomen defensive core that was among the best in the Atlantic conference this season, allowing just eight goals in 13 regular season games.
What really sets McParland apart from the crowd is her community service. She has been heavily involved with the Acadia chapter of the Global Medical Brigade since it was founded in 2011.GMB is a student-led global health and sustainable development organization. The Acadia chapter organizes yearly medical missions in Honduras.
This past year, McParland secured a $500 grant from Doctors Nova Scotia to help offset the cost of providing a mental health first aid course to Acadia’s resident assistants and other staff in front-line positions.
She also volunteers with the Acadia S.M.I.L.E. program, the Wolfville Nursing Home, Kinderskills Acadia, the Acadia Mental Health Society, Hants Community Hospital, Acadia’s anti-bullying program, the Nova Scotia Hearing and Speech Centre and the Dare Campaign, sponsored through the Stephen Lewis Foundation.
Along with McParland’s national award, her teammate Emily Nickerson was honoured with a first-team all-Canadian selection.
Nickerson, a second-year defender from Coldbrook, was a second-team all-star a year ago in her first year at Acadia. Both women are also academic All-Canadians.
The CIS awards were announced in Quebec City Nov. 5, where Laval University is hosting the national championship.