March 18, 2021
New kinesiology scholarship inspired by Hayley Wickenheiser
Reyna Crawford remembers when she first saw Hayley Wickenheiser in person. It was in the weight room at the University of Calgary. "I am from Calgary and it was so cool to see her. She didn't know me and I didn't want to bug her as she was grinding out a workout. It was exciting to see her in person," says Crawford, a kinesiology student who plays on the Dinos women's basketball team.
Wickenheiser, BKin'13, MSc' 16, played with the Dinos and the Canadian Women's National Team, and is the world's best female hockey player. She also supports females in hockey with the annual Canadian Tire Wickenheiser World Female Hockey Festival or Wickfest. On March 16, she was also inducted in the Canada West Hall of Fame as the final member of the 2020-21 induction class.
Inspired by her hockey career and leadership, the Faculty of Kinesiology created a scholarship in her name for varsity women athletes.
Crawford is one of three kinesiology female Dinos athletes to win this inaugural Hayley Wickenheiser scholarship. The other two recipients are wrestler Drew Persson, and Rebecca Clarke, who plays on the Dinos women's hockey team.
"This scholarship is a great honour. It takes some of my stress away in terms of not needing a job and I can focus more on my school work," says Crawford, 22, who is a biomechanics major and hopes to do a master's in the same field. Besides basketball, Crawford is part of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Kinesiology undergraduate committee and a member of the RoboGals club, which is a club with the mission to inspire, engage and empower young women into entering engineering and related fields.
Wrestler Drew Persson learned about receiving this award on her 21st birthday. "Best birthday gift ever," she says with a laugh. Persson was surprised and humbled to receive this scholarship. "Hayley has been a role model to me from what she has achieved through her hockey career and beyond," says Persson, who is taking a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with an ambition to be a physiotherapist.
"It's very meaningful to be recognized for a scholarship that is rooted in leadership as I have learned throughout my undergrad, thus far, that it is an important skill to possess to be successful in life. To be recognized for this within the Dinos is very special."
Dinos hockey player Rebecca Clarke also looks up to Wickenheiser. "I am very grateful to get this award. The scholarship will help me focus on my studies in the kinesiology program, my training with my hockey team and will help me in the off season," says Clarke, 19.
She says she is honoured to be receiving a scholarship named after Wickenheiser. "Hayley is an influential and respected person and athlete." Clarke is known for her leadership style by leading by example with her teammates, and she gives her all, at games and practices.
"I want to thank everyone who has contributed to this scholarship dedicated to Hayley Wickenheiser, a true leader in sport and an inspiration to all," says Penny Werthner, dean of the Faculty of Kinesiology.
"And congratulations to these recipients — terrific women athletes and students who excel in their respective sports, have a passion for their learning, and are leaders, today and in the future."