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ZS Holdings pledges $50K for international student-athletes at RDP

Giving back
Left to right: Stuart Cullum (President, Red Deer Polytechnic), Jose Mauro Barrozo Jr. (RDP student-athlete, Kings Basketball), with members of the Rajan and Charania families of ZS Holdings. (Photo supplied by Red Deer Polytechnic)

A significant donation was made this week to help support international student-athletes at Red Deer Polytechnic.

On Thursday Zainul & Shazma Holdings Ltd (ZS Holdings) donated $50,000 to create the ZS Holdings 50th Anniversary International Student-Athlete Success Fund.

“To the students and athletes today and our future students: as my parents instilled in my sister and I, and our children, the importance of hard work, integrity, and the pursuit of excellence, so too my parents wish to help you with your journey,” said president of ZS Holdings, Shazma Charania.

“Their drive from humble beginnings to successful entrepreneurs exemplifies the limitless possibilities afforded by education and determination.”

The massive act of generosity renewed a partnership between RDP and ZS Holdings that first began nine years ago.

The founders of ZS Holdings, Afzal and Gulzar moved to Canada from Tanzania and started the groundwork for the family-run company 50 years ago opening seven hotels and two restaurants in Alberta.

Daughters Shazma and Zainful have continued to build on their family legacy through ZS Holdings after being inspired by their parents. The donations was made with a desire to give back to the community that has already given them so much.

“The opportunity for me to study in Canada, while also playing the sport I love—basketball—is made possible because of international scholarships, like the ZS Holdings 50th Anniversary International Student-Athlete Success Fund,” said RDP student-athlete Jose Mauro Barrozo Jr.

“Without the financial support of such scholarships, moving from Brazil to further my education would not have been possible.”

Over the next five years, the fund will provide scholarships to international student-athletes at RDP. The money will ensure they have all the resources needed to succeed as a student and in their sport.

“We are profoundly grateful for the Rajan family’s continued support and this significant contribution,” said Stuart Cullum, President of Red Deer Polytechnic.

“This donation honours an important milestone for this entrepreneurial family and also reinforces our shared commitment to creating opportunities for student-athletes from around the globe. This gift is a reminder of the combined power of family, community connection, innovation, and generosity.”

Since their partnership began in 2015, ZS Holdings has pledged $160,000 to various programs and events to help the student community.

Ian Gustafson

About the Author: Ian Gustafson

Ian began his journalism career as a reporter in Prince Albert, Sask. for the last three years, and was born and raised in Saskatchewan.
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