Durham College alumna wins Premier’s Award

Durham College (DC) alumna Debbie Low has been honoured on the provincial stage for her passion for sports and dedication to empowering Canadians who live with a disability. The 1985 graduate from DC’s Sports Administration program was announced as the recipient of a Premier’s Award on Monday, November 16 at a gala celebrating outstanding graduates from the Ontario college system. 

“I am incredibly touched and honoured to not only be nominated but to also receive the Premier’s Award for community services,” said Low, who was awarded the honour in the community services category. “Attending the Sports Administration program at DC was one of the most important decisions I made in setting me on the career path to where I am today. My full-year placement and the mentorship and coaching I received from the faculty gave me the skills and confidence I needed to succeed in the very competitive sporting industry; an industry that has also given me the opportunity to give back to the local community and champion the rights of athletes with disabilities so they too can achieve their dreams.”

Helping individuals with disabilities inspired Low to make a significant impact in the athletic community and helped her stand out amongst other provincial nominees. Since graduating from DC, she has implemented numerous programs, along with developing the operational plan for Canada’s team at the 2004 and 2008 Paralympic Games. Over the past 10 years, she has remained a leader in the sports industry as CEO of the Canadian Sport Institute of Ontario (CSIO), as well as serving on committees and boards for many not-for-profit organizations that support the success of athletes with a disability.

“It was truly an honour to be present when Debbie received recognition for her career success before a crowd of some of the most influential leaders in Ontario, said Don Lovisa, president, Durham College. “The entire college community is very proud of her. She is an excellent role model for our students and our more than 73,000 alumni.”

Low was one of 116 college graduates nominated for this year’s awards, including two others from DC, and is the fifth alumni from DC to win a Premier’s Award. Each year the Premier’s Awards are presented to acknowledge the social and economic contributions that college graduates make to the province and throughout the world. Chosen from nominations submitted by Ontario’s 24 colleges, the award recipients have demonstrated outstanding career success related to their college experience and have made a significant contribution to their community.

For more information about the DC alumni community please visit www.durhamcollege.ca/alumni.