Two former Kimberley Dynamiters, Eric Scherger and Noah Danforth, are among 13 players selected by the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League to receive league bursaries, valued at $1000 and meant to be applied towards their post secondary educations.
“The recipients were chosen from a large field of applicants based on academic achievement, sportsmanship, hockey participation and/or quality of contribution as well as community participation and service,” the KIJHL said in a release.
Scherger played three seasons in the KIJHL with the Summerland Steam as well as the Dynamiters. He is currently working in the electrical industry with the hopes of meeting the first-year hour requirements needed to attend the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.
Originally from Brooks, Alta. and a graduate of John Maland High School, Scherger is grateful for this funding and said that the KIJHL has played a substantial part in becoming who he is today.
“While playing in the KIJHL, I have had some amazing people come into my life and have made a big impact and they might not even know it,” Scherger said.
In addition to his on-ice contributions, Scherger always went above and beyond with his community involvement. He helped out at events like Penticton’s Dragon Boat Festival, the Summerland Triathlon, the Tim Hortons Cookie Fundraiser and the Dynamiters’ 50/50 raffle.
“The KIJHL has taught me some very important life lessons through the good times and the bad,” he said. “And for that I am thankful to have played in a league that has given me an opportunity to realize what I want most out of life – happiness and to stay positive no matter the situation or how hard life is at that certain place and time.”
Noah Danforth spent most of his KIJHL career with the Nitros, but began playing for the Kelowna Chiefs. He was the recipient of the Kimberley Dynamiters Community Service Award two years in a row.
Danforth recently signed on with the Vancouver Island University Mariners. He will be studying to earn a Bachelor of Kinesiology there.
Danforth said he became interested in that field of study as a result of his time spent in the gym, working to physically separate himself from other players.
“All this time in the gym created a passion for training, and weightlifting,” Danforth said. “I’m hoping that the Kinesiology program will help guide that passion into a career in sports training.”
Like Scherger, Danforth was also tremendously involved with the communities he played in. He served as assistant coach with Selkirk Secondary, the South West Zone Team and spent time volunteer coaching and skating at Gold in the Not. He was also a reading volunteer at McKim Middle School and Mother Earth Children Charter.
“If I look back at the list of previous recipients, I am definitely in good company,” Danforth said of the KIJHL, adding receiving it is a “huge honour.”
Danforth said his time in the KIJHL not only helped to refine his hockey skills, but also taught him self-reliance, respect, responsibility, accountability to his community, and “shaped me into the person I am now.”