MONTREAL, JUNE 30, 2011- The English Montreal School Board (EMSB) had a very strong and exciting presence at the Montreal Impact game on June 29 at Saputo Stadium.
Close to 2,000 tickets were sold to EMSB students and staff for the Impact’s scoreless tie with the Puerto Rico Islanders. The EMSB enjoys an excellent partnership with the Impact. For five years now, the EMSB has teamed up with the professional soccer team for the Impact Stay In School Program, in which players visit the schools. Sporting Director/Interim head coach Nick DeSantis, assistant coach Mauro Biello and a number of players graduated from EMSB schools.
During the game, the EMSB’s presence was recognized and two students who have shown a love for soccer were presented with $500 Tony Licursi Bursaries prior to the match by Impact Executive Vice-President Richard Legendre and EMSB Immediate Past Chairman Dominic Spiridigliozzi. Mr. Licursi was the team’s statistician and a devoted member of the James Lyng High School Alumni Association. He passed away four years ago.
This year’s recipients were Anthony Perna from Nesbitt Elementary School in Rosemount and Christine Nucciarone from Laurier Macdonald High School in St. Léonard. Anthony is a Grade 4 French immersion student who is described as sensitive, respectful and always ready to help out. As a baby, he was hospitalized for almost a year when a bacteria attacked part of his right shoulder bone. With medication and the help of devoted doctors who performed a successful surgery, his bone was reconstructed and this misadventure left nothing more than a few scars. He was really strong and courageous.
Over the years, Anthony has put an emphasis on athletics and his education, so much so that off the soccer pitch, Nesbitt has become a tertiary home to him, and it’s commonplace for Anthony to be the first student arriving in the morning and last one leaving in the afternoon. His thirst for learning and passion for soccer has led him to develop a strong desire to visit Italy, the home of his grandparents. The Tony Licursi Bursary will finally enable him to realize his dream of visiting his ancestral home this fall. We promised we would bring him in 2012 if he kept his great marks and if he was able to pay for part of the airfare,” says his mom Sylvie Champeau . “He opened up a bank account and started to save money he got on his birthday or by helping out in various house works, bringing back and selling bottles and cans to the grocery store, or from a garage sale he organized and even by shoveling snow for the neighbors. With this $500 bursary, he’s just reached his goal! He will go to Italy next year and hopefully see a soccer game!”
“The bursary will help me pay for a trip to Italy where I’ll see where my family came from, learn about the history and the culture of Italy,” adds Anthony. “My grandparents have told me that it’s a very calm and nice place and I’m really excited to go visit it and see for myself. I can’t wait to also see my favorite soccer team, AC Milan, in person!”
“I think he’s a smart, articulate and really pleasant child who has always been a positive leader, liked by both his peers and teachers. He’s a very nice young man,” said Mary Theophilopoulos, Principal of Nesbitt. “He’s going to put this bursary to good use, we’re all very proud of him!”
Adds his mother: “Anthony knows how lucky he is to be able to perform in sports he likes, with no limitation. Among all sports, he loves soccer the most. He’s been playing on a soccer team since the age of six. This year, his coach said he was the one who made the most progress. Anthony also plays tennis and likes skiing and snowboarding as well as biking with me on weekends. A year ago he got his orange belt in karate/kickboxing. Just for fun, he also likes to play hockey with his friends. He’s been chosen to participate in the circus school show for the past four years.”
Christine is a Secondary IV student and has always achieved above average, honour roll grades while dedicating herself to participate in various school and community sports and activities.
“Sports have always been my passion as I not only play for my community, but for my school as well,” she says. “ I have played on the Canadiennes de Montreal competitive female hockey team, as well as soccer for St. Leonard for 11 years. I have also been involved in soccer and basketball at John Paul II, as well as flag football and volleyball at Laurier Macdonald High School. My dedication towards sports has allowed me to develop school spirit, responsibilities as well as leadership qualities among my peers. Nevertheless, no matter how important my athletics are, I know that my academics are, and should remain, my primary concern.
“Since Secondary I, I have been fortunate to be able to study in the IB program. I truly believe that I am receiving the best education with this program as it has enabled me to work hard and to earn my grades. I am fully dedicated to graduating after five years of completing IB and I know that all of the work I have completed will assist me for CEGEP and university as I aspire to pursue a career in sports therapy or medicine.”