Junior curlers given Sandra Schmirler scholarships

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June 6, 2013, (ISN) – The Sandra Schmirler Foundation today announced the successful applicants for the Spirit of Sandra $5,000 junior curling scholarships.

“The response from young competitive curlers across Canada was incredible”, said Theresa Breen, Foundation Chair. “The Board was very impressed with the applicants and their outstanding achievements in academics, competitive sport and community involvement”.

This is the inaugural year for the $5,000 scholarships which will be funded annually through crowd sweeps at Season of Champions championships. “The Foundation is indebted to the Canadian Curling Association for providing this opportunity for competitive curlers to engage with fans at major curling events and collect money to fund this new initiative”, stated Breen.

The 2013 Spirit of Sandra Scholars are: Jocelyn Peterman from Red Deer, Alberta; Kristen Streifel from Clavet, Saskatchewan; Shannon Birchard and Derek Oryniak both from Winnipeg, Manitoba; Matthew Smith from Keewatin, Ontario; and Cathlia Ward from Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Cathlia was the alternate for Team Brown, from Kamloops, when the junior girls travelled to Sochi, Russia, for the 2013 Junior World Curling Championships.

In addition to the financial support these Scholars will receive, they will also be mentored by world championship curlers, Jon Mead and Cathy Overton-Clapham who have volunteered their time to help these young curlers realize their own dreams. “Jon and I are thrilled to be able to work with this very talented group of young competitive curlers”, said Cathy. “We hope that together we can help them to build their competitive skills while balancing curling with school”, added Jon. The six Scholars will join Cathy and Jon in Winnipeg in August for a 2-day training session.

Each of the Scholars has committed to organizing a fundraiser in their local community to build awareness and raise money to support the mission of the Sandra Schmirler Foundation: to donate to Neonatal Intense Care Units (NICUs) in hospitals across Canada for the purchase of life-saving equipment for babies too soon, too small or too sick. Two of the applicants for the Spirit of Sandra Scholarships were born premature and spent time in a NICU at their local hospitals.