The late Megan Dalziel treasured the memories of her five years on the floorboards of McKinnon Gym during a basketball career in which she helped lead the University of Victoria Vikes to two CIS (now U Sports) national titles in 1998 and 2000.
The current Vikes women’s team will pay it back, and forward, by honouring Dazliel’s memory with an exhibition game in her hometown of Courtenay on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. against the Vancouver Island University Mariners.
Dalziel died of cancer in 2019 at the age of 41.
The Vikes players will also be conducting a series of clinics for girls and boys players in the Comox Valley from Grades 4 to 10. All clinic charges, and door donations from the UVic-VIU game in the G.P. Vanier Secondary School gym, will go to the Megan Dalziel Memorial Bursary. It is awarded each year to a graduating Grade 12 student-athlete from G.P. Vanier going on to university or college competition.
Dalziel was an all-rounder in basketball, volleyball and track and field at G.P. Vanier and turned down U.S. NCAA volleyball offers to play hoops at UVic.
“Megan loved our team and her teammates,” former UVic coach Kathy Shields has said about Dalziel. “She was such a smart and gifted athlete. Megan started for five years and all our passes went through her in the high post during that era. It’s so sad that she was taken far too soon. This bursary is a terrific undertaking and will keep Megan’s memory going while helping young players.”
Dalziel graduated with a degree from the UVic faculty of education and taught and had coached at York House School in Vancouver since 2003 to her death.
Hugh MacKinnon, who coached Dalziel at Vanier and chairs the bursary committee, described her as a “wonderful role model” for young female athletes in the Comox Valley.