Achieving post-secondary education pursuits through proven leadership — on and off the ice.
Two Lower Mainland hockey players were recognized for their talent and commitment to community by the Vancouver Canucks Alumni Association this month with a pair of $1,000 scholarships.
Taylor Gray of the Tri-Cities Predators — the female hockey association based in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody — is the fifth girl to ever receive the bursary as part of the annual Pat Quinn Classic tournament.
The 14-year-old from New Westminster plays for the under-15 A1 Predators.
In a news release, she says she's honoured to have been recognized by the Quinn family, despite the 2021 event's cancellation resulting from the then state of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Hockey has really helped me grow as a person, both mentally and physically, give back to my community, and prepare me for my future," Gray explained, noting she plans to use the money to potentially study business, architecture and interior design at UBC.
"Playing hockey is just so familiar and an important part of my life. It has taught me about friendships and leadership."
Last year, Gray raised $4,600 for the SHARE Family and Community Services food bank in Port Moody from a skate-a-thon event with the Tri-Cities Predators.
Tyler Godfrey was the other $1,000 recipient, representing the Burnaby Minor Hockey Association.
The 15-year-old says he's made many friends while playing the game he loves, while also giving back to the community through life-lessons learned.
"Hockey is a big part of my life, I’ve made so many friends, it is a fun sport," said Godfrey, who plays for the Burnaby under-15 A1 Bulldogs.
"This scholarship will help me achieve my goals. I want to keep developing to be the best player I can be on the ice, and off the ice too."
The Grade Nine student at Burnaby South Secondary has volunteered his time with Thank Dog I am Out, an organization that helps people adopt rescue dogs.
Godfrey says he's considering a career in law enforcement, but wants to continue pursuing as high a level of hockey as possible.
Both were presented with a certificate by former NHLer, Vancouver Canuck and honourary chair of the Pat Quinn Classic, Cliff Ronning.
"We felt it was very important to keep the momentum of the tournament going by awarding scholarships, despite the 2021 tournament cancellation," said Ronning in the same statement. This was the fourth round of grants given to participating players.
"These two recipients are fine hockey players and their commitment to sport extends to their studies in school and community involvement."
The tournament is held each year in Burnaby and features some of the best minor hockey programs from western Canada and the U.S.
Organizers say they're looking to host the Pat Quinn Classic in-person for the first time in more than two years in December, which will be the 60th edition of the competition.
For more information, you can visit the tournament's website.