Some of Canada’s up-and-coming student curlers have received a welcome financial boost in a year filled with uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Curling Canada revealed that its scholarship program was more in demand than ever with a record-setting 82 submissions this year.
A selection panel consisting of Curling Canada officials, high-performance athletes and former scholars had the task of sorting through the entries and selecting 10 recipients to receive CAD$2,500 (£1,400/$1,900/€1,600) scholarships.
The winners were University of Alberta students Catherine Clifford, Gabriel Dyck, Abby Marks, Jaedon Neuert and Jamie Scott, as well as Lauren Ferguson, of Dalhousie University, Dylan Niepage, of University of Guelph, Lauren Rajala, of Laurentian University, Taylour Stevens, of Saint Mary’s University, and Nathan Young, of Memorial University.
The panel selected the group of young curlers who had won national under-21, under-18 and university championships, along with members of Team Canada at the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games.
John Shea, chair of Curling Canada’s Board of Governors, said: "We’re proud to provide scholarship opportunities to young individuals who are fine curlers and exceptional people.
"While these students will achieve success on the ice at all levels of our sport, I most look forward to seeing the positive impact they will have on society through their studies and volunteerism."
Curling Canada revealed that 73 scholars have received CAD$118,300 (£68,100/$89,900/€76,100) since the programme started in 2014.
High-performance athlete Lisa Weagle, a member of the selection panel, added: "This year’s recipients have already accomplished so much in their young careers on the ice, while also giving back to their communities and committing themselves to post-secondary education.
"It’s not an easy task to balance those goals and I’m proud to have been part of the process to help support them this year."