Abbotsford’s Kira Peary has been named the 2020 John Cannon Memorial Fund scholarship winner. (Armando Tura/UVic)

Abbotsford’s Kira Peary has been named the 2020 John Cannon Memorial Fund scholarship winner. (Armando Tura/UVic)

Abbotsford’s Kira Peary earns John Cannon Memorial Fund scholarship

Robert Bateman Secondary School grad takes home fourth annual Cannon award

Abbotsford’s Kira Peary is the recipient of the fourth annual John Cannon Memorial Fund.

The award was handed out to the Robert Bateman Secondary School grad earlier this month, and the current University of Victoria student has a close connection to the Cannon family, as she was coached by John’s dad Peter Cannon.

Peary played for Peter during the Provincial Rugby Championship at the U16 level.

“I’ve had a great relationship with Peter for a few years now and was really excited to win this scholarship for a number of reasons. I hope I can live up to the great names that have earned this recognition before me,” Peary stated to the UVic Vikes website.

The John Cannon Memorial Fund was established in the summer of 2016 after his death that March. The fund was created to help players from Abbotsford, male or female, to pursue their rugby ambitions.

RELATED: John Cannon Memorial Fund established

Cannon died at the age of 35 due to a heart attack.

Cannon was a 2011 Abbotsford Sports Hall of Fame inductee who, at the time of his passing on was coaching the Abbotsford Rugby Football Club’s senior men’s first and second division teams.

He had returned to ARFC in 2013 after a long professional and international career, and was looking to give back to the club he started with in 1996.

He earned 31 caps for Canada while playing professionally in England for six seasons.

RELATED: Abbotsford rugby star John Cannon dead at 35

Peary originally got into rugby in Grade 7 at Clayburn Middle School, and developed into a strong player at Bateman. She eventually had the chance to tour with the Celtic Barbarians rugby team and moved to Langford in her Grade 12 year to train with the Rugby Canada Developmental Academy.

She also won a BC Games silver medal in the sport in 2016 and has represented B.C. at international events.

RELATED: Abbotsford girls leading the B.C. rugby charge

She plans to compete with the Vikes when Canada West rugby action is allowed to resume. She will join Abbotsford rugby talents Tayler Bailey and Ashlynn Smith on the Vikes when that sport is back.

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