U SPORTS has honoured student-athletes with the Academic All-Canadian status ©U SPORTS

U SPORTS has awarded 4,908 student-athletes with the Academic All-Canadian honour for the 2019-2020 season.

The figure represents 33.7 per cent of the 14,543 student-athletes who competed in the 12 U SPORTS-sanctioned sports across Canada last season. 

This is a 22.8 per cent increase on the number of athletes honoured for 2018-2019, the highest single-year growth in the 32-year history of the programme. 

Student-athletes achieve Academic All-Canadian status by maintaining an average score of 80 per cent or better over the academic year while competing for one or more of their university’s U SPORTS teams.

The University of Calgary became the first institution in history to top 200 honourees, with 204 Calgary Dinos student-athletes receiving the award. 

Western University had 201 student-athletes achieve Academic All-Canadian status, while 22 other institutions tallied more than100. 

Among the recipients, one female and one male student-athlete from each of the four U SPORTS conferences are selected annually to make up the top eight Academic All-Canadians.

They then go on to receive the Governor General's Academic All-Canadian Commendation.

This year's cohort are set to meet Governor General of Canada Julie Payette virtually as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

U SPORTS interim chief executive Dick White emphasised the impact of the global health crisis on the student-athletes. 

"We are extremely proud of our student-athletes for their overwhelming academic success during the 2019-2020 season," he said 

"Faced with immense challenges, this year’s class of Academic All-Canadians adapted remarkably to altered COVID-19 learning environments, demonstrating their leadership in the classroom and in their respective communities."