Caoimhe McParland, a fourth-year cornerback from Halifax, was announced as the 2014 winner of the award at the AUS women's soccer awards banquet Oct. 30 in conjunction with the Atlantic championship at Dalhousie.
Teammate Alana Fairfax - who is an all-star this year - won the AUS Student-Athlete Community Service Awards in 2012 and 2013, Former Acadia standout Cathleen Bleakney was the 2011 winner.
With a current GPA of 3.97 and an overall GPA for her time at Acadia of 3.96, McParland is an exemplary student-athlete, balancing athletics, academics and extensive involvement in the community, both in Wolfville and further afield.
She has been heavily involved with the Acadia chapter of the Global Medical Brigades (GMB) since it was founded in 2011. This year, she served as treasurer, and recently also took on the role of vice-president of medical.GMB is a student-led global health and sustainable development organization. The Acadia chapter organizes annual missions in Honduras
This past year, she secured a $500 grant from Doctors Nova Scotia to help offset the costs of providing a mental health first aid course to Acadia's resident assistants and other staff in frontline positions. She has been an active member of the Acadia S.M.I.L.E. program (Sensory Motor Instructional Learning Experience) since 2012, working with children with autism to develop motor, cognitive and social learning skills. McParland is a member of the Acadia Mental Health Society, and volunteers weekly at the Hants Community Hospital.
She is an active member of Acadia's WITS anti-bullying program, and has volunteered with the Nova Scotia Hearing and Speech Centre.
On behalf of the Stephen Lewis Foundation's Dare Campaign, she is currently organizing her third polar bear dip fundraising event. The Dare Campaign raises money in order to provide essential health, educational and emotional support to people in Africa living with HIV and AIDS.
"The most remarkable thing about Caoimhe," says Axewomen head coach Amit Batra, "is that you may know she is a very good player, and it doesn't take long to understand how strong she is academically, but her impact on the community largely goes unnoticed because she just contributes as part of her daily life.
"Giving is her habit, and her impact on the community is enormous. The fact shat she is being recognized amongst so many great candidates exemplifies and speaks to what so many student-athletes do.”
McParland becomes the AUS nominee for the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Student-Athlete Community Service award for women's soccer. Both Fairfax in 2012 and Bleakney in 2011 won the national honour.
Axewomen, Axemen named to all-star squads
In addition to Somerset's Fairfax as an all-star defender, second-year Axewomen defender Emily Nickerson of Coldbrook was selected to the first all-conference team at her position for a second straight year. Fifth-year midfielder Laura Gray of Brookside, N.S. was named to the second team.
The AUS men's soccer all-stars and major award winners were also announced Oct. 30, in conjunction with the AUS men¹s championship being played at Memorial University in St. John's.
Third-year Axemen defender Andrew Snyder of Bridgewater was named to the first all-conference team at his position, while fourth-year midfielder Cochrane Noseworthy-Smith of Wolfville was named to the second team. Both Snyder, the 2013 AUS Rookie of the Year for men's soccer, and Noseworthy-Smith were second-team all-stars a year ago.