CALGARY, AB – Western Hockey League Commissioner Ron Robison announced Wednesday that a total of 301 WHL graduate players, including several former members of the Brandon Wheat Kings have been awarded WHL Scholarships for the 2012-13 academic year.
The WHL Scholarship recipients are enrolled as full-time students in 68 different post-secondary institutions throughout North America.
This season 183 of the 300 WHL Scholarship recipients are furthering their education while playing elite hockey in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Association. In Western Canada 125 of these student athletes are playing in the Canada West University Conference, including Mount Royal University which joined the Canada West Conference for the 2012-13 season, and have combined their WHL Scholarship with additional financial assistance from their University to receive Western Canada’s Premier Hockey Scholarship.
The University of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon) boasts 34 WHL graduates enrolled in full time studies while 28 former WHL players are registered at the University of Manitoba (Winnipeg), including ex-Wheat Kings Joe Caligiuri, Paul Ciarelli, Del Cowan, Nathan Green, Brandon Lockerby and Tyler Dittmer.
The University of Alberta (Edmonton) has 26 WHL graduates who are attending full time classes. The University of Calgary has 21 former WHL players enrolled including former Brandon netminder Jacob DeSerres, the University of Lethbridge has 20 WHL graduates, the University of British Columbia in Vancouver has 19 WHL graduates, Mount Royal University (Calgary) has 12 WHL graduates, and the University of Regina has 11 WHL graduates including netminder Andrew Hayes, defenceman Mark Schneider and center Sanfred King enrolled in full time studies.
Other former Wheat Kings attending on WHL Scholarships this season include Andrew Clark (Acadia University), Paul Van De Velde (University of Toronto), Alexander Grill-Donovan (SAIT, Calgary) and Jesse Hall (Portage College in Cold Lake, AB).
Among the 2012-13 WHL Scholarship recipients, 53 WHL graduates are enrolled at Universities in Eastern Canada with 42 currently playing hockey in the Ontario and Atlantic Conferences of the CIS. Another 48 WHL graduates are enrolled at a Canadian College or other post-secondary institution, with 16 grads playing hockey in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) or the BC Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL). Six WHL graduates are attending a post-secondary institution in the United States.
Administered centrally by the WHL Office, the WHL Scholarship is solely funded by the member Clubs of the WHL. This season WHL Clubs will contribute close to $2 million to graduates utilizing the WHL Scholarship.
“The WHL takes great pride in providing our graduate players with the most comprehensive hockey scholarship program available in North America today,” commented Robison. “The WHL Scholarship provides the flexibility for our graduate players to enroll in any University, College, Technical School or any other post-secondary career enhancing program of their choice.”
All players who play in the WHL are eligible to receive the WHL scholarship. For every season a player plays in the WHL, they receive a full year guaranteed WHL Scholarship, including tuition, textbooks and compulsory fees, to a post-secondary institution of their choice. In addition, over 100 current WHL players are receiving financial assistance to enroll in post secondary classes while playing in the WHL. The WHL and Athabasca University have partnered to offer, through online and other distance education vehicles, fully accredited university courses to any WHL player interested in further pursuing post-secondary studies while playing in the WHL.
The WHL continues to be the leading provider of Hockey Scholarships in Western Canada. Since 1993, the Western Hockey League has awarded more than 4,900 Scholarships to graduate players, representing a contribution of more than $17 million.
Teams conduct several fundraising initiatives throughout the year to raise money for their respective Scholarship Foundation. In Brandon, the Wheat Kings generate revenue through the sale of 50/50 at all home games as well as host the annual CKLQ Sportsman's Dinner in February.
The WHL Scholarship is considered to be the most attractive hockey scholarship due to the fact it is a fully guaranteed academic scholarship with no requirement to play university hockey to qualify, and the student athlete can apply the funding to any post-secondary program of his choice.
The WHL gratefully acknowledges the support of Husky Energy as an Associate Partner of the WHL Education Program.