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Legacy after great loss: Chris Friesen's story

"Having had the honour of being selected a Christian Friesen Memorial Award winner, each day I strive to uphold the values by which Chris lived. His renowned dedication, passion and generosity truly inspire me to be the best person I can possibly be. This recognition is one I will cherish for the rest of my life." - Jordan Lasher, 2016 award recipient

Christian 'Chris' Friesen's early life was filled with adventure. He grew up exploring his family's lush acreage in Langley, visiting nearby relatives in the Fraser Valley, making memories on road trips to Disneyland and the Grand Canyon, camping along the Oregon coast and even ziplining with mom Ingrid, dad Randy and older brother Max.

Adventure soon gave way to passion and dedication. Active in many sports and driven to succeed, Chris chose to focus on box and field lacrosse in Grade 9. After participating in the Burnaby Mountain Selects' summer camp at SFU, Chris was inspired by coaches and student-athletes to be the best in both sport and school. From that pivotal moment forward, he hit the books and trained hard. One of his crowning achievements was being named to the All-star Team for B.C. at the National Field Lacrosse Championship in September 2009 (pictured right). Although Team B.C. didn't win, Chris was honoured to be one of the tournament MVPs.

A few months after the championship game and midway through Grade 11, as letters of interest from multiple universities in Canada and the U.S. began to arrive, Chris passed away suddenly in March 2010.

Chris' incredible accomplishments as well as his kindness and compassion were mirrored back to his family through the outpouring of support received in the days and weeks following his passing. To honour his legacy, family, friends, coaches and teammates came together to establish an endowed memorial award for SFU students demonstrating high standards of performance on the lacrosse field, as well as exemplary leadership and teamwork.

Chris' life was cut short, but for his family, this award at SFU keeps his memory alive and shares his remarkable work ethic, talent and winning spirit with grateful student-athlete recipients for years to come.

If you'd like to contribute to Chris' award, please click here.