CALGARY, AB – Western Hockey League Commissioner Ron Robison has announced that a total of 300 WHL graduate players, including twenty-one former members of the Brandon Wheat Kings have been awarded WHL Scholarships for the 2011-12 academic year.
The WHL Scholarship recipients are enrolled as full-time students in 71 different post-secondary institutions throughout North America.
This season 154 of the 300 WHL Scholarship recipients are furthering their education while playing elite hockey in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Association. In Western Canada, 111 of these student athletes are playing in the Canada West University Conference and have combined their WHL Scholarship with additional financial assistance from their University to receive Western Canada's Premier Hockey Scholarship.
Nine former Wheat Kings are currently attending the University of Manitoba – Darren Bestland (Brunkild), Joe Caligiuri (Winnipeg), Del Cowan (Hartney), Tyler Dittmer (Brandon), Chad Erb (Sanford), Nathan Green (Winnipeg), Kyle Krzyzaniak (Neepawa), Brandon Lockerby (Douglas) and Matt Lowry (Neepawa).
Rounding out the list of former Wheat Kings that have been awarded WHL Scholarships are Teegan Moore (Thompson) and Jacob DeSerres (Calgary), who are at the University of Calgary, Theran Yeo (Prince Albert) is attending the University of British Columbia, Brandon products Bryan Kauk and Mark Schneider are at the University of Regina, Andrew Clark (Brandon) is enrolled at Nova Scotia's Acadia University, Mark Louis (Ponoka, Alberta) is at St. Francis Xavier, Daniel Bartek (Czech Republic) is attending Dalhousie University in Ottawa, Cale Jefferies (Glenboro) is at the University of Guelph, Sanfred King (Brandon) is enrolled at McGill in Montreal, Paul Van De Velde (Mariapolis) is at the University of Toronto and Alexander Grill-Donovan (Calgary) is currently going to school at SAIT Polytechnic.
The University of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon) leads the way with 33 WHL graduates enrolled in full time studies while 28 former WHL players are registered at the University of Alberta (Edmonton). The University of Manitoba (Winnipeg) also boasts 28 WHL graduates who are attending full time classes. The University of Calgary has 25 former WHL players enrolled, the University of Lethbridge has 16 WHL graduates, the University of Regina has 15 and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver 11 WHL graduates enrolled in full time studies.
Among the 2011-12 WHL Scholarship recipients, 56 WHL graduates are enrolled at Universities in Eastern Canada with 43 currently playing hockey in the Ontario and Atlantic Conferences of the CIS. Another 54 WHL graduates are enrolled at a Canadian College or other post-secondary institution, with 12 playing hockey in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) or the BC Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL), and 9 are attending other post-secondary institutions throughout North America.
Administered by the WHL office, the WHL Scholarship is solely funded by the member Clubs of the WHL. This season WHL Clubs will contribute $1.6 million to graduates utilizing the WHL Scholarship.
"The WHL and our 22 Member Clubs are very proud to be the leading provider of hockey scholarships in Western Canada", commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. "The WHL takes great pride in continuing to provide our current and graduate players with the most comprehensive education and scholarship program available in North America today."
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, including 75 studying at the Athabasca University. 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 4,300 Scholarships to graduate players, representing a contribution of more than $13.5 million.
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.