Three female high school athletes from Moose Jaw each were presented with a scholarship on Tuesday, from funds that were raised for the Hillcrest Ladies Golf League’s “Women Fore Women” Golf Tournament.
Central Collegiate graduate Malea Kletzel, Peacock Collegiate graduates Summer Okerstrom and Mya Viczko were the three selected to receive a $2,000 scholarship towards their post-secondary education.
Deb Negraiff, who is a retired teacher is among three Hillcrest ladies that are responsible for the scholarship portion, says this tournament is a way to recognize young female athletes in Moose Jaw.
“I like the fact that we can offer the young women something especially when we look at today's female professional athletes are so far behind the men when it comes to media attention they get, the prize money they get, that girls sometimes have to fight a little harder and a little longer,” says Negraiff.
This is the first time in their three-year history of the event, they have been able to present $2,000 per winner. In the past $500, scholarships were given out, five to be exact.
The scholarships were competed for by senior students in Moose Jaw high schools. The applicants were graded on their marks, and strong leadership skills, along with a multi-faceted 500-word essay on themselves, the role of sports and school in their lives, and much more.
Negraiff adds that out of the 17 applicants that applied, the quality of the essays submitted by the three winners sealed the deal for them.
In Summer Okerstrom’s essay, she spoke about how sports gave her a comfortable oasis.
“I was six feet in grade seven so sports gave me a really comfortable place to feel like I could be myself. I talked about how as a leader I really want to push girls to see that sports are great to find their place and grow as a person,” says Okerstrom.
Summer will be attending Briercrest College in the fall, for the next four years, while playing volleyball. She will use the scholarship money to help with her tuition and athletic expenses.
Central graduate Malea Kletzel says she is grateful the Hillcrest Golf Club is recognizing that women do have an important role in sports.
“It’s a great opportunity for equality between women and men. It’s great to be recognized, especially for young women that are into entering university,” notes Kletzel.
Kletzel, who plays volleyball at a very high level, will be traveling west to the Medicine Hat College in the fall, to earn her degree in education, with the goal of becoming a teacher. The funds will help her with her schooling and accommodation in Medicine Hat.
Grade 12 student Mya Viczko, is an equestrian showjumper and has been for the past 14 years, this scholarship will go towards helping her chase her dreams, and one day hopes to compete in the Olympics.
“This scholarship is really to help me pursue my dreams and move up in the sport and continue my education,” explains Viczko.
She is off to Calgary in the fall as that is where her coaches are, along with attending the University of Calgary in Honours Zoology.
The third annual Women “Fore” Women Golf Tournament at the Hillcrest will be held on August 20, with the funds raised going towards the 2023 scholarship presentations. To register call 306-693-1921.