Former Griffin Dr. Danielle Peers receives Order of Sport, is inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

Danielle Peers takes a shot during the 1997-98 ACAC women's basketball season (File photo).
Danielle Peers takes a shot during the 1997-98 ACAC women's basketball season (File photo).

MacEwan University Communications

A former captain of the Griffins women's basketball team is a recipient of the Order of Sport Award and has been inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame for their contribution to the sport of wheelchair basketball.

Dr. Danielle Peers (Bachelor of Arts, University Transfer '98 and 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient) is an advocate, activist and academic who continues to educate, inspire and motivate countless students and community members.

Dr. Peers was the captain of the Grant MacEwan College women's basketball team in 1998 and was an Academic All-Canadian. They were also an assistant coach with the Griffins in 2000.

"As a rookie, I remember co-organizing and somehow pulling off a fundraiser 3-on-3 tournament with one of our veterans, Kristen 'Hutch' Hutchinson," says Dr. Peers. "That off-court collaboration and friendship built an on-court chemistry that was amazing. It also taught me a lot of skills I would use to help start sport organizations later in my career. We tend to play and train for the on-court time, but looking back, it's the off-court time that really forms you."

 Danielle Peers was a member of one of the best Griffins women's basketball teams of all-time - the 1997-98 squad, who went an undefeated 20-0 during the regular season before winning an ACAC silver medal (file photo).

Dr. Peers began playing wheelchair basketball before being diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. They then played for Team Canada and won numerous team medals and individual awards at the national and international level from 2003 to 2009.

After retiring from playing, Dr. Peers earned a PhD in physical education and recreation and is currently an associate professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport and Recreation at the University of Alberta. Dr. Peers is an advocate for parasports and is a national ambassador for Muscular Dystrophy Canada. They received a Distinguished Alumni Award from MacEwan in 2008. Peers also leads a number of arts collectives in Edmonton as an award-winning 2SLGBTQIA+ artist.  

"Grand as a Griffin is the perfect way to describe all of Danielle's accomplishments," says Dr. Annette Trimbee, president and vice-chancellor. "We constantly encourage our students to get involved in their community after graduation. Danielle is a shining example of working to create positive change and educating the next generation. I am thrilled to see they are being recognized with the Order of Sport Award and induction into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame."

Dr. Peers' time at MacEwan has left a lasting impression on the athletics program at the university. Playing for the Griffins from 1996-98, they had 354 career points over two seasons.

"I have been fortunate to see Danielle speak at various symposiums over the years," says Joel Mrak, director of athletics. "They are an exceptional person and it is amazing to see the great things that they have achieved. This is a fantastic accomplishment for Danielle and well-deserved. On behalf of Griffins Athletics, we would like to extend a sincere congratulations to Danielle on this recognition!"