The Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association, with support from Manitoba’s Credit Unions, is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2020-2021 Manitoba’s Credit Unions Scholar Athlete Awards. These $1,000 scholarships are awarded to four graduating high school student athletes who maintained a minimum 85% average and competed in at least two interscholastic sports. Other criteria included school, community involvement, volunteer, and citizenship activities.
In this COVID-19 pandemic year, recognizing the extenuating hardships students have had to overcome, and in their continued support of student athletes across our province, this year Manitoba’s Credit Unions will also award an additional $400 scholarship to each nominee.
The four student athletes awarded $1,000 scholarships were:
Annika Goodbrandson of Lord Selkirk Regional – participated in volleyball, basketball, soccer, track & field, cross country, and badminton. In 2021, Annika was named the winner of the Lena Wenke Courage Award by Basketball Manitoba. Over her high school career Annika has received numerous sport awards at her school such as Athlete of the Year, a sportsmanship award, and numerous player of the game awards in basketball. She placed in the top ten in shot put at the Provincial Track & Field Championships, and first place in shot put, javelin and discus at the KPAC Zone Championships in 2019. Annika is an honour roll with distinction student with an academic average of 95%. She is also a member of her school’s student council, volunteers at Winnipeg Harvest, Selkirk Christmas Hampers and Santa for Seniors, is a youth facilitator at the Nuclear Peace Summit, a Special Olympics leader, and an Ethics Bowl student representative. Annika also has participated in summer basketball camps as an instructor and helped deliver a truckload of food to the Selkirk Food Bank.
Annika states: “The privilege of playing on high school teams has brought me a great sense of identity, growth, pride, joy and development as an athlete and as a person. Sports build one’s character, and it can also expose it. Being on a team makes you realize that it’s not just the single athlete who can make or break your team’s success, but rather the collective effort of all team members; this life lesson can be used in other settings once we leave high school. The importance of high school sport is often overlooked and underappreciated, simply due to the once easy access to sports through the school year; it is not until its gone, do you truly see what value sports had in your life.”
Lindsey Gundrum of Prairie Mountain High School – holds an academic average of 93% while participating in cross country, volleyball, basketball, fast pitch, curling, badminton, and track & field.
Lindsey is the president of the school’s student council and is co-editor of the yearbook. She is a six-year member of the Swan Lake Leo’s, a club that puts on fundraising events that give back to the community and is currently the club’s president. Lindsey has also been a part of her church choir and has helped put on several softball clinics. In her high school sport career Lindsey has been a part of her school’s Zone banner winning volleyball, cross country, basketball, curling, badminton, and fast pitch teams. She was a provincial finalist in volleyball, cross country, basketball, curling, badminton, and track & field and a provincial champion in track & field.
Lindsey states: “This past year, the importance of high school sport has become very apparent to me by its recent absence in my life. It wasn’t until pandemic restrictions prohibited me from participating in sports that I realized just how beneficial they are. Sports keep you motivated and help you maintain a sharp mind. I notice that the excellence that I strive for on the court/field/ice/track extends to how I approach my studies as well. Also, constant strategizing in sports helps improve problem-solving which is very helpful with academics. High school sport improves other life skills. Good communication and teamwork are some of the most important skills that you acquire from sport. Not only do these skills help you build solid friendships but are required to be successful in many careers. I am thankful for the benefits that I have received through high school sports, as they have accounted for my academic success and have ultimately made me a better person.”
Luke Janzen of Linden Christian School – participates in volleyball, basketball, badminton, soccer, and hockey. He was awarded the Ron Meyers Leadership Award by Basketball Manitoba in 2021. Over his high school athletic career, he has been the captain of his basketball team, Athlete of the Year at his school, co-captain of his volleyball team, has received the outstanding contribution to athletics award from his school, and has been a provincial club volleyball champion. Luke maintains an academic average of 93% and had been a member of the school’s honour roll with distinction throughout his high school years. He is the student body president, participated on an outreach trip with Impact Missions to Guatemala, coaches JV volleyball, and organizes fundraising events at the school.
Luke states: “Sports are a huge part of our modern society; it brings people and cultures together. In sports there is a community, a place where you feel you belong. School sports strengthen the community of the school in so many ways. School sports teams are where you strengthen personal friendships and make new ones. In addition to providing the opportunity to improve your physical fitness, athletic ability, and an opportunity to compete in interscholastic competition, high school sports also teach meaningful lessons of hard work, discipline, cooperation, and leadership. I am so thankful for every minute I have spent in the gym, at the rink and on the pitch. I have missed those days desperately this year. The only positive I can see from that is I now truly appreciate the importance of school sports. It is such a big part of school life.”
Paige Wright of Warren Collegiate Institute – maintains and academic average of 96.6% while participating in volleyball, basketball, badminton, and track & field. She was a member of her school’s Zone Championship volleyball team, Provincial Championship basketball team, named a Provincial All-Star twice, and was awarded the Players Choice Award. She was a Zone banner winner in badminton by bringing home the gold with her partner and she played a role in her school winning an AA Provincial Championship Track & Field banner. Paige is also involved in school activities that help raise funds, plan spirit week, and is a member of the yearbook committee. She volunteers for school intramurals, score keeping and helps coach JV volleyball. Paige is also busy outside of school as she volunteers for numerous community activities, the food bank and works part-time at an assisted living home.
Paige states: “Why would someone dedicate countless hours to playing a sport? The answer is simple, love. Moreover, my passion for sports has influenced my life tremendously, strengthening my work ethic, and most importantly, developing my identity as a student athlete. Sports is an essential aspect of high school, as it teaches you many practical life skills such as time management, leadership, and responsibility. It also introduces you to some of your closest friends and role models. I have encountered several like-minded individuals creating friendships that will last a lifetime. Without sports, I would have never grown close with some of those friends, and I cannot imagine my life without them. Friendships have made it evident that high school sports improve athletes’ mental health.”