My Greatest Advice To This Year’s Applicants

I remember standing in my kitchen, just going about my day when all of a sudden, my phone went off and the caller ID showed a number from Alberta. ‘Who did I know from Alberta that would be calling me?’

Little did I know that the voice on the other end of the line was none other than Cheryl Bernard herself.

I remember answering the phone and her voice saying, ‘This is Cheryl Bernard, calling on behalf of the Curling Canada Foundation to congratulate you on receiving the For the Love of Curling Scholarship.’ In that moment, I was so shocked; I probably missed more than half of all the information she was telling me (whoops, sorry Cheryl). But at the time, I was struck with pure emotion and the feeling of joy had completely consumed me. I felt so honoured and so proud that the Canadian curling community had recognized all of the hard work I put into both this sport and my studies.

I have never felt such a passion as the one I feel for curling, which is really unfortunate for my study time. The balance between school and curling has always been a struggle, but my lofty goals in both of these aspects of my life have given me the motivation to make it doable.

Heading off into first-year university I was definitely worried; I had never had to worry about paying for my education before. Not to mention that the workload would be 100x more intense than I was used to (sigh). All of my friends were planning to work part-time during the school season in order to avoid student loans. I, on the other hand, still had a full-time curling schedule and wouldn’t have any time to work.

Thankfully this scholarship was there to save me. Being a recipient took such a heavy load off of my shoulders; I was able to forget any financial worries and strictly focus on surviving first-year and competing.

One of the greatest aspects of winning this scholarship is the feeling of support from Curling Canada. Their confidence in me to excel in both my junior curling endeavours and university education helped me to achieve one of my most successful years yet. My team had an amazing season—I had never seen us play so well and so happily—and thanks to the scholarship I had more time to focus on curling. This added focus brought out moments of brilliance that I can only hope are the sparks to ignite our future flame.

I also had a stellar school year. With the support of this scholarship, I was able to bury my head in the books whenever I wasn’t on the ice and achieve an outstanding GPA for my first year. While there were still stressful moments throughout the school and curling season (there always are; it’s inevitable, double sigh) my overall stress level was considerably lower than it would have been. The majority of my reduced stress was definitely related to the For the Love of Curling Scholarship.

My greatest piece of advice to all of this year’s eligible applicants is to just APPLY!

Don’t be afraid that you won’t get it; if you don’t apply you’ll never know. The impact that this scholarship can make in your life is so substantial that it’s worth the time and effort to apply. The scholarship funds this year have more than doubled from previous years too!

Considering how much this scholarship positively impacted my life, just imagine what double that can do for you!

I am so glad I decided to apply for this scholarship last year; I can’t imagine what my 2017/18 season would have looked like without it.

Apply before the June 30, 2018 deadline!

Sarah Daniels