Left to right: Ryan Davies, Chanell Duffy, Angus Skinner, Nicole Hartnell, Ethan Rashid-Cocker and Florina Keller.
OFSAA and members of the Brian Maxwell Memorial Scholarship Fund were on hand for a special awards reception with all six honourees and their families in Stouffville, Ontario on August 11th.
Please meet the worthy recipients of the 2023 Brian Maxwell Memorial Scholarship below.
These student-athletes, with a track and field or cross country pedigree in high school, will continue their post-secondary education at a Canadian college or university. The scholar-athletes display qualities of honesty, integrity, compassion and an unwavering quest to accomplish the best academically and athletically while supporting fellow team members. These were all qualities of Brian Maxwell. Each recipient will receive $5,000.
The scholarship fund is in memory of Brian Maxwell, a successful distance runner. Brian competed in track and field and cross country and achieved success as an OFSAA champion, and a Canadian junior, juvenile and senior champion. In 1980, he was selected to the Canadian Olympic team and later became a successful entrepreneur who, with his wife, Jennifer, co-founded the nutritional supplement PowerBar.
Brian was born with a defective heart valve and in 2004, at only 51 years of age, died of a heart attack.
OFSAA is proud to offer the Brian Maxwell Memorial Scholarship each year to support students continuing their education in Canada.
Congratulations and best of luck!
Meet our exceptional 2023 recipients:
Chanell Duffy is an exceptional student-athlete from Englehart High School. Over her five years of high school, she has achieved remarkable success in cross country and track and field events, qualifying for OFSAA championships a total of ten times. Her dedication and determination to excel in her sports are evident, and she lives by the inspiring motto of Natasha Hastings, the two-time Olympic runner from the USA: “You’ll never know what you’re capable of until you just go for it.”
Apart from her outstanding athletic achievements, Chanell is also an accomplished student. Her hard work and preparation have made her feel confident and ready for the next phase of her life, as she is now set to attend Nipissing University in North Bay, pursuing a degree in the faculty of Physical and Health Education. Her ultimate goal is to build a career in physiotherapy after completing her education at Nipissing.
Beyond her academic and athletic pursuits, Chanell is actively involved in giving back to her community. She has volunteered extensively, contributing over 200 hours to various causes and organizations. Some of her volunteer activities include teaching swimming, organizing a running club, and assisting with baseball in the community. She has also been involved in a church food mission, helping those in need, and has devoted time to work at a bible camp during summers. Additionally, Chanell has participated in a local mud run, showing her enthusiasm for engaging in various activities and helping others.
Chanell’s coach at school speaks highly of her, describing her as a dedicated runner, a positive leader, and a role model for her teammates and the community. Her participation in OFSAA in sports like badminton and basketball further exemplifies her versatility and commitment to being a well-rounded individual.
With her incredible track record in academics, sports, and community service, Chanell undoubtedly carries a bright future ahead as she embarks on her journey at Nipissing University and aims to make a positive impact on others through her career in physiotherapy.
Nicole Hartnell, a student at Applewood Heights Secondary School in Mississauga, has an impressive track record in cross country and track & field. She has qualified for OFSAA cross country and track and field events a remarkable seven times. Notable achievements include fifth and sixth place finishes in cross country, and fourth and seventh place finishes in consecutive years in the Senior Girls 3000m race. Additionally, she secured ninth and eleventh place finishes in consecutive years in the 1500m event.
Nicole’s dedication to sports extends beyond her personal accomplishments. She played a pivotal role in establishing a track and field team at her school. When no teacher initially volunteered to lead the team, Nicole took it upon herself to encourage and inspire a staff member to take on the role. Her determination allowed her and her peers to have the opportunity to participate in track and field.
In terms of her academic pursuits, Nicole will be attending the University of Guelph in the fall, where she will be enrolled in Marketing Management Co-op. Her passion for sports also led her to engage in various volunteering activities. She has been involved in wildlife conservation, trail maintenance, running events, and mentorship. One of her notable achievements was speaking at elementary schools to promote Women in Sports and share her own athletic journey.
Within her school community, Nicole is an active member of the Apple Crew, a group that assists new students and organizes activities. Outside of school, she has been a well-rounded athlete, participating in basketball, soccer, volleyball, cross country and track and field.
Recently, Nicole finished 7th in the 5000m and 15th in the 3000m races at the U20 Nationals held in Langley, BC. Her continued success in track and field events showcases her dedication and hard work.
Overall, Nicole is an accomplished student-athlete who not only excels in her athletic pursuits but also contributes positively to her school community and engages in meaningful volunteer work.
Florina Keller is an accomplished student-athlete with an impressive track record in both track and field and cross country. She attended Westdale Secondary School in Hamilton and participated in OFSAA six times, with three appearances in track and field and two in cross country.
Her best performance came in cross country during grade 11 when she finished sixth, contributing to her team’s silver medal finish. In grade 9, she placed 12th in cross country and played a vital role in her team’s OFSAA gold medal win.
In track and field, she qualified twice in the 800m and once in the 1500m. Her highest placement was 12th in grade 11 when she was a first-year senior.
Florina will be continuing her education at McMaster University, where she will be enrolled in the Life Sciences program. Throughout her high school years, she maintained an impressive 95% average in her courses, demonstrating her dedication to academic excellence.
Outside of academics and athletics, she was actively involved in her school community. She served as the President of the Westdale Athletic Council, showcasing her leadership abilities. She also participated in the yearbook committee, highlighting her interest in creative projects.
In addition to her school involvement, Florina was a coach for the Westdale Grade 9 girls’ soccer team, showcasing her commitment to supporting her peers and school sports.
Beyond her school activities, Florina extended her volunteering efforts to the community. She coached for the grassroots soccer program and contributed to the Hamilton Olympic club in various roles.
Environmental causes were close to her heart, and she volunteered as an Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy volunteer, helping to preserve natural areas by removing invasive species from waterways and lake edges around Manitoulin Island.
In her free time, Florina pursued her passion for photography and received an honorary mention for her photos of the Urquhart Butterfly Garden in Dundas, showcasing her artistic talents.
Additionally, Florina demonstrated her practical skills by building a to-scale model shed using repurposed or recycled materials, which she designed herself during a construction class.
Overall, Florina Keller is a well-rounded individual with academic excellence, athletic achievements, leadership qualities, community involvement, and creative talents, making her a valuable asset to her future endeavors at McMaster University and beyond.
Ryan Davies is an impressive student-athlete with a diverse range of talents and accomplishments. He has excelled both academically and athletically during his time at Northern Collegiate Institute & Vocational School in Sarnia. As an athlete, Ryan’s achievements in the 2000m steeplechase and 3000m have earned him two OFSAA championships in the steeplechase and finalist placements in the 3000m. He has also contributed significantly to his school’s cross country team, helping them achieve high rankings in team standings.
Beyond athletics, Ryan’s academic performance is commendable, maintaining a remarkable 96% average over his grade 12 courses. His dedication to education has led him to pursue Commerce at McMaster University, where he will be joining the Marauders’ track and field team, showcasing his talent on a larger platform.
Ryan’s passion for sports extends beyond his track and field career, as he has been an accomplished tennis player throughout his youth. He has also participated in other sports like soccer and badminton, highlighting his enthusiasm for staying active and engaged in various athletic pursuits.
Not only has Ryan been involved in sports, but he has also contributed to his school and community as a peer mentor, assisting new students in adjusting to high school life. He has been an active member of the student council throughout his high school years and organized intramural sports at school. Outside of school, Ryan has volunteered at various organizations, including the Inn of the Good Shepherd, his local tennis club, and a literacy foundation, demonstrating his commitment to giving back to the community.
One of Ryan’s most remarkable achievements is starting his own lawn care business from scratch, turning it into a profitable venture. This entrepreneurial experience has not only provided him with valuable skills but also served as a significant source of income to support his post-secondary education expenses.
Recently, Ryan has continued his athletic success by winning the Canadian U20 3000m Steeplechase and achieving a commendable 9th place in the 3000m at the National Championships in Langley, BC. His accomplishments have been recognized this summer, as he was named a Co-Winner of the Sarnia Lambton Sports Hall of Fame Pappy Burr Award, acknowledging his outstanding achievements as a student-athlete entering post-secondary education.
Overall, Ryan is a well-rounded individual, excelling in academics, athletics, entrepreneurship, and community service. His accomplishments and dedication make him an inspiring role model for others.
Ethan Rashid-Cocker is an accomplished athlete and student from Bloor Collegiate Institute in Toronto. Over his high school years, he qualified for OFSAA four times, twice in Cross Country and twice on the track. His best results came in the spring, where he finished third in the 1500m and sixth in the 3000m.
One defining moment in his running career was the 2021 nationals, where he was disqualified for obstruction. This incident made him realize the importance of sportsmanship, humility, and personal growth. He vowed to learn from this experience and redefine what “winning” meant to him, which ultimately made him not only a better runner but a better person.
In the fall, Ethan will be attending Queen’s University, enrolled in the Commerce department, and joining their cross country team.
During his time at Bloor Collegiate Institute, Ethan was not only a standout athlete but also a highly involved student. He participated in multiple sports teams, including hockey and soccer in addition to cross country and track and field. He also demonstrated leadership qualities as a member of the Athletic Council Executive and co-founder of the BCI Pathways group, which helped plan events to assist graduating students in understanding their future and post-secondary options. Additionally, he was the head of Internal Affairs in the Bloor Finance Club.
Outside of school, Ethan was active in his community. He volunteered with young runners in the Bison Track Club and worked with the “Little Kickers” group in his soccer club. He also contributed to charity efforts by helping deliver Christmas care packages to those in need around the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
Recently, Ethan achieved another notable accomplishment by finishing 12th at the U20 Canadian Championships in the 1500m, held in Langley, British Columbia.
Overall, Ethan is a well-rounded individual with a strong commitment to athletics, academics, leadership, and community service. His experiences have shaped him into a dedicated and responsible individual who is ready to take on new challenges at Queen’s University.
Angus Skinner is an accomplished student-athlete from Frontenac Secondary School in Kingston. He has an impressive track and field and cross country background, having qualified for OFSAA seven times. Angus also had the honour of representing Team Ontario on the U20 Cross Country team, and he was even selected as the first reserve for the U20 World Athletics Canada roster.
In the OFSAA cross country competition, Angus earned a silver medal at Dagmar this past fall, following a seventh-place finish in 2021. His strong performance in 2021 also contributed to his team’s bronze medal finish. On the track, Angus competed in the 1500m and 3000m events during his grade 11 and 12 years, overcoming the setbacks caused by the disruptions of COVID-19 during his earlier high school years.
Angus has not only excelled in athletics but also maintained an impressive academic record, consistently achieving a 90+ average over his four years of high school. He has taken advanced placement (AP) science and math courses, and he even earned a French language proficiency certificate (DELF) from the French government, showcasing his mastery of the language.
Continuing his academic journey, Angus is set to attend Queen’s University in the Con-Ed (Concurrent Education) program, a testament to his commitment to both his studies and his passion for athletics. He has also actively engaged in his school community, serving on the Frontenac Student Council and Athletic Council. Angus is a well-rounded individual who founded and co-presided over the chess club. His contributions to the school community have been recognized by the Limestone District School Board, which awarded him a Student Achievers Award.
Outside of school, Angus has demonstrated his dedication to giving back by volunteering at a summer camp for youth and participating in race organizing efforts. Notably, he spearheaded a shoe donation campaign to support those in need.
Angus’s character is highlighted by his humility and enthusiasm, qualities that align with the values championed by Brian Maxwell, according to his coach at Frontenac.
This summer, Angus finished 6th in the U20 5000m and secured the 23rd position in the 1500m at the Nationals held in Langley, British Columbia. This further showcases his commitment to excellence in both track and cross country events.