Sport Manitoba has announced the recipients of the 2007-08 Manitoba Foundation for Sports Scholarship winners and the inaugural Milt Stegall Scholarship.  Matt Opalko of the University of Winnipeg Men's Basketball program was named the recipient of the Milt Stegall University Scholarship and was presented the award by Milt at a media conference on June 18.


The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Winnipeg Free Press Photo  



Matthew Opalko is enrolled as a full time student in the Integrated Education Program at the University of Winnipeg. He has completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in Kinesiology and Applied Health and is now pursuing his Bachelor of Education degree.

Opalko is the Captain of the University of Winnipeg Wesmen Men’s Basketball team and is a four time Academic All-Canadian. He has been recognized by the University of Manitoba as a Student of Distinction and has received a gold medal standing as a student-athlete maintaining a GPA of 3.9. Recently he was awarded the prestigious Ken Shields Award, which recognizes student-athletes who have exhibited outstanding achievement in three areas: basketball, academics, and community involvement.

When Opalko isn’t on the court or hitting the books, he can be found coaching or volunteering his time. Opalko speaks to schools, kids clubs, and events as a representative of the University of Winnipeg Athletic Program. He volunteers during “I Love to Read Month”, is a member of the Habitat for Humanity Committee, and helps fundraise for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg. During the summer Opalko is very involved with Athletes in Action, a non-profit Christian organization where he travels, advocates the benefits of sport, and talks about his faith. 

“It is an honour to have a scholarship of this magnitude named in my
honour, and to have its legacy helping student-athletes year after
year,” said Stegall, one of the greatest Winnipeg Blue Bombers of all
time. “This is an award that is all-encompassing and that is very
important.  Education is such an important part of this because you can
use your body for so long, but you can use your mind the rest of your


The scholarship was established last year by the province upon
Stegall’s induction into the Order of the Buffalo Hunt to recognize his
achievement of becoming the Canadian Football League’s all-time leader
in touchdown receptions.

addition to the two Milt Stegall Scholarship awards, the Foundation
will also be rewarding scholarships to 14 high school students and 14
university students. “These are Manitoba’s future champions,” said Jeff
Hnatiuk, President and CEO of Sport Manitoba. “All 28 of them deserve
recognition for their sport excellence, but most importantly they
deserve recognition for being positive role models in sport and in our
community.” The Manitoba Foundation for Sports Scholarship Program was
established in 1992. The Foundation has since awarded 880 scholarships
totaling $683,417.


More on the awards and recipients can be found at... 

Subscribe to Email Newsletter
Share this article to...