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Sullivan Heights named B.C.’s Most Inspirational School for athletics

‘This is one of the best honours we could have ever received,’ athletic director says
Surrey’s Sullivan Heights Stars senior football team (dark jerseys) in action against Seaquam Seahawks of North Delta during an exhibition game at Sullivan Heights Secondary in September 2021. (File photo: Tom Zillich)

This year’s BC School Sports award winners include Surrey’s Sullivan Heights Secondary, named B.C.’s Most Inspirational School for “special commitment to improving the lives of student-athletes and staff through leadership and public service.”

The high school has “contributed significantly to the welfare of school athletics and the local community,” according to directors of the 450-member governing body for inter-school sport in B.C.

“This is one of the best honours we could have ever received,” said Gary Atwal, athletic director at Sullivan Heights. “We’re so proud to have won this because it recognizes years of hard work for some of the teachers that have been here.”

Sullivan Heights’ win marks the first time a Surrey school has won the provincial award in its 20-year history.

Award winners were announced on BC School Sports’ website in April, and a ceremony was held in Kelowna on May 10. News of the win was posted on Surrey Schools’ website and also shown in a YouTube video.

The Sullivan Heights Secondary team with banner at the BC School Sports awards event in Kelowna. (Contributed photo: Andrew Holland)

By developing more opportunities for students to get involved in sports, Sullivan Heights now runs more than 40 teams per year and has more than 400 student-athletes, according to the district’s post.

“The overall engagement of our students has grown,” Atwal noted. “We used to just have athletes supporting athletes, but now we’ve created such a strong school community that our gyms are often packed with fans for each game.”

He said a key part of the school staff’s approach is to ensure that the effort students exert on the field and court is extended into the classroom and their academic careers.

“There’s been a big shift in how students take pride in representing their school,” Atwal added. “They know they’re representing our school at all times and there’s a standard that goes with that.”


Final-seconds win for Sullivan Heights at Surrey RCMP Classic in Junior division

VIDEO: Stars align for new football program at Sullivan Heights in Surrey.

Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news for Surrey Now-Leader and Black Press Media
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