WEST KELOWNA – The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) has selected 13 student-athletes and one game official from the 2020-21 season to receive league bursaries, including three from the Eddie Mountain Division. Each bursary is valued at $1,000 and will be applied towards post secondary studies.
The recipients were chosen from a large field of applicants based on academic achievement, sportsmanship, hockey participation and/or quality of contribution as well as community participation and service.
Eric Scherger – Kimberley Dynamiters
The Devon, Alta., product spent three seasons in the league with the Summerland Steam and Dynamiters during the pandemic-shortened season.
Grateful to have received a bursary, Scherger is currently working in the electrical industry with hopes to fulfill first-year hour requirements to attend the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.
The graduate of John Maland High School says the KIJHL has played a big part in who he is today from his rookie year three years ago.
“While playing in the KIJHL, I have had some amazing people come into my life and have made a big impact and they might not even know it,” says Scherger.
He immersed himself in the community by helping with several events including the Penticton Dragon Boat Festival, Summerland Triathlon, Tim Hortons cookie fundraiser as well as the Dynamiters 50/50 raffle among others.
“The KIJHL has taught me some very important life lessons through the good times and the bad and for that I am thankful to have played in a league that has given me an opportunity to realize what I want most out of life – happiness and to stay positive no matter the situation or how hard life is at that certain place and time.”
Greg Parker- Columbia Valley Rockies
A graduate of Louis St. Laurent in Edmonton, Alta., Parker plans to study power engineering at Portage College, where he will play for the Voyageurs.
Parkers says being privileged enough to be a recipient of the KIJHL bursary is a considerable honour.
“This bursary means a lot to me because of the support and endorsement I received from my high school teachers, and the team staff,” says Parker of the Rockies. “These people have shaped my life in significant ways and I am honoured that they believed in me and supported me to receive this bursary.”
Parker spent his entire career with the Rockies and valued his time in the league as it provided him opportunities to be involved and support the Invermere community, develop friendships and connections that will endure beyond his time in the league. His community involvement includes coaching the Melfort Mustangs peewee A team, helping at the Invereme Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Shop, Edmonton Food Bank, Boyle Street Community Centre and Invermere Fire Department.
“Playing in the KIJHL helped me to develop independence and grow as an athlete,” says Parker, who has been named most inspirational player (March 2019) and best defenceman (March 2017). “The coaching and management staff were fantastic and really helped mentor me to develop my leadership skills.”
Noah Danforth – Kimberley Dynamiters
Noah is a graduate of Vimy Ridge Academy in Edmonton, Alta. This fall he will attend Vancouver Island University, where he will study to earn a bachelor of Kinesiology, while playing for the Mariners.
Danforth became interested in that field from the time he spent in the gym making himself stronger to separate himself from others to get better.
“All this time in the gym created a passion for training, and weightlifting,” he says. “I’m hoping that the Kinesiology program will help guide that passion into a career in sports training.”
Danforth began his career with the Kelowna Chiefs, but spent the majority of it with the Dynamiters and received the Kimberley Dynamiters Community Service Award two years in a row. He also gave back to his community as an assistant coach with Selkirk Secondary, the South West zone team and volunteer coach/skating at Gold in the Not. He was also a reading volunteer at McKim Middle School and Mother Earth Children Charter.
Receiving a KIJHL bursary is a “huge honour” for Danforth.
“If I look back at the list of previous recipients, I am definitely in good company,” he says.
Danforth’s time in the KIJHL not only helped to refine his hockey skills, but also taught him self-reliance, respect, responsibility, accountability to his community, and “shaped me into the person I am now.”