By Erika Mathieu
Sunny South News
A former student of Kate Andrews High School, Sarah Peters is the recipient of the 2023 ATB Financial Canadian Masters Scholarship.
The scholarship, established in 2014, is presented annually to a curler and first-year post-secondary student from the southern Alberta region attending an accredited post-secondary program. In 2014, Coaldale hosted the Canadian Masters Curling Tournament. At the time, ATB Financial stepped up as a major sponsor for the event, and donated $10,000 to help plan and get the Canadians Masters underway.
Roger Hohm served as a co-chair of the 2014 Masters and said the committee and ATB came to an agreement that if the event was profitable, a portion of the profit would then be carved out into a scholarship fund geared toward assisting community-minded student-curlers with post-secondary funding in the coming years.
Hohm said while academics is a factor in choosing a recipient of the scholarship, the selection committee is looking for community-minded curlers enrolled in an accredited post-secondary institution who have demonstrated a commitment to community-building and a desire to push the sport forward.
The $1,000 scholarship was presented to Peters at the Coaldale Curling Club on Sept. 27.
Peters is currently enrolled in the University of Lethbridge’s combined degree program and is working toward a Bachelor of Science in geography and a Bachelor of Education.
Peters said she has been involved in curling since childhood.
“I started curling around 13 years ago with Darren Molding, who was running the curling program here, and he was definitely my inspirations to keep curling. He was very passionate about the kids and what he was doing and he made sure we loved the sports and thats why I have kept going.”
Peters said one of the reasons she loves the sport is because of the social dynamics and opportunities to connect with other curlers and community members, in addition to the sport’s inclusivity, even for beginners.
“It doesn’t have to be competitive if you don’t want it to be, but there are so many different levels and aspects you can look at the game,” she said.
Peters is one of 12 total curlers on the Pronghorns curling team at the University of Lethbridge, where she will be coached under the direction of former provincial junior champion, with strong ties to Picture Butte, Casey Scheidegger.
Peters said, “I think it is amazing there is an opportunity for me in Coaldale.”
Since the scholarship is given to a first year student, the 2024 application deadline is not until August 2024. Interested applicants may reach out to their local curling clubs and organizations for more information on how to apply, and exact eligibility requirements.