Grades in the stratosphere and athletic accomplishments to match, the Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association, partnered with McDonald’s, handed out scholarships to 16 of its best and brightest, both on and off the court, on Monday.
Eight female and eight male athletes each received $1,000 toward their post-secondary education in a renewed partnership between the MHSAA and McDonald’s Canada.
The 2017 McDonald’s Leadership Awards were handed to worthy recipients who demonstrated exceptional leadership in high school sport, school and community involvement while maintaining a minimum 75% average at an event outside a McDonald’s restaurant on Regent Avenue.
What it meant for those 16 students, including Cole Penner, a Grade 12 student at Garden City Collegiate averaging 99.3% in the classroom, is a chance to continue their studies and endeavours in sport.
After a successful high school career where he played basketball, volleyball and badminton, just to name a few, Penner is now looking forward to focusing solely on the classroom at the University of Manitoba in the Faculty of Science.
But he won’t stray too much from sport.
“I’m still going to be involved, playing senior men’s league,” Penner said. “Sports are a big part of my life and it would be too hard to leave that behind.”
Vincent Massey Collegiate’s Taylor Kleysen has watched her sister, Stephanie, turn a successful university basketball career into a professional one in Germany. And while she won’t be following her footsteps in the same sport, Taylor’s hoping to reach the same heights as a volleyball star at the University of Winnipeg.
“It was a really hard decision for me between basketball and volleyball,” she said. “I’m excited to have a different experience than my sister had. And I’m really excited about going to school to become a teacher. I’ve know I wanted to do that since I was really little.”
Brandon’s Dylan Sutherland, meanwhile, will be heading to the University of Manitoba this fall to play volleyball under the tutelage of legendary coach Garth Pischke with the Bisons.
“It’s a huge step, the Bisons are a very developed program and it will be an opportunity to learn and become a better player and person,” said Sutherland, who is taking engineering. “It’s huge (the scholarships). It gives us the opportunity to move on and take courses and provides us with the funds to go to school.”
Chad Falk, executive director of the MHSAA, said they had well over 100 applications from across the province, each nominated by their individual schools.
“It means so much to us to give back to the student athletes, and it means so much that McDonald’s helps us to what we do in our day-to-day operations, but then also take part in that sponsorship,” Falk said. “It means so much to give out $16,000 to our students.”
Head of the Class
List of 16 student athletes receiving scholarships:
Bailey Paziuk – Ste. Rose School – Academic average of 98%
Shayna Timmerman – Treherne Collegiate – Academic average of 97%
Jessica Edel – Morris School – Academic average of 93.2%
Kailen Ledochowski – Teulon Collegiate – Academic average of 97%
Carrie Livingston – Sanford Collegiate – Academic average of 93.8%
Danielle Algera – Calvin Christian School (Winnipeg) – Academic average of 95%
Ariana Streu – River East Collegiate – Academic average of 92%
Taylor Kleysen – Vincent Massey Collegiate (Winnipeg) – Academic average of 93%
Riley Enns – Carman Collegiate – Academic average of 84%
Rylan Metcalf – Carman Collegiate – Academic average of 83%
Carson Ouellette – Stonewall Collegiate – Academic average of 94.4%
Luke Bossuyt – Sanford Collegiate – Academic average of 92%
Ryan Eisbrenner – St. John’s Ravenscourt School – Academic average of 91%
Cole Penner – Garden City Collegiate – Academic average of 99.3%
Dylan Sutherland – Vincent Massey High School (Brandon) – Academic average of 92%
Riley Francey – Garden City Collegiate – Academic average of 96%