On January 8, 2020, Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was shot down shortly after take off from Tehran killing everyone on board, including Western Canada High student Arshia Arbabbahrami.

Arshia was a passionate user of the fitness center at Western Canada High School as well as a mentor and role model for the students in his Sports Performance classes. He was also an important member of the Swim & Dive and Track & Field teams. His skill, passion and dedication were contagious everywhere he went and he happily took on a leadership role among his peers, not only in his classes but also during drop-in workouts after school. His kindness, encouragement, and uplifting attitude were extremely positive influences on students, motivating many to work harder when they were around him.

Students, staff and visitors alike all saw something special in Arshia. His time in the fitness centre brought out the best in him and he in turn, brought out the best in others.

In addition to his athletic abilities, Arshia was known for his kind and caring demeanor around Western Canada High School. His presence was especially felt by other students that were new to Canada, whom he impacted deeply by being welcoming and compassionate towards them as they navigated their new life at Western Canada High School.

Arshia’s family, friends, and teachers are establishing an award in his memory that will let his legacy of kindness, compassion, and dedication to health and wellness live on.  The award will recognize an ELL student who is new to Canada and has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to healthy living and fitness, while also contributing to the Western Canada High School community by demonstrating kindness and compassion; all donations in memory of Arshia will go toward this award.