Athletes, youth coaches, and officials taking part in the Greater Vernon 2022 BC Winter Games (in 2023) were invited to apply for the BC Games Leadership Bursary. Supported by Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities, this bursary aims to recognize participants under 19 years of age who have achieved in academics and sport while going above and beyond in their communities through leadership and volunteer activities.

Sixteen participants (two per zone) were selected to receive a $1,000 bursary to support their future sport or educational pursuits and presented with a commemorative plaque during the Games.

Kootenays (Zone 1)

Paige Purcell – Alpine Skiing (Bonnington)

Paige has helped raise over $110,000 for various charities including the BC Children’s Hospital, Make a Wish, and Ronald McDonald House in addition to serving as a Can Skate program assistant with Nelson Figure Skating Club.

Gabriel Janz – Biathlon (Nelson)

Gabriel has been volunteering with the BC SPCA for the past 6 years and has served as a leader for outdoor summer camps. He is a talented piano player and placed fourth in classic distance at the 2023 Western Canada Championship in Kimberly.

Thompson-Okanagan (Zone 2)

Claire Penner – Ringette (Coldstream)

Claire’s sport achievements include being a member of the North Okanagan regional ringette team and Kalamalka Secondary senior girls basketball team as a grade 10 student. Besides being an athlete, Claire is involved in sport as an assistant coach (volleyball) and as a minor official (ringette). Claire is a straight A student and in 2022 won the Kalamalka Secondary Math Challenge and ChatterHigh Career and College Exploration Award.

Colton McHatten – Snowboarding (Sun Peaks)

Colton took home two gold and one bronze medals at the 2023 provincial championships. He is a straight A student and is working to graduate early from high school. He hopes to continue competing at the NorAm level.

Fraser Valley (Zone 3)

Audrey Allister Ordonez – Figure Skating (Chilliwack)

Audrey ranked first in BC in the star 7 category and third in star 8 for the 2022-23 year. Audrey has earned numerous awards as a standout student, including the 4.0 GPA Plaque, Exemplary Scholar Award, and Citizenship Award. She hopes to attend UBC and be a part of Cirque Du Soleil on Ice upon graduating from high school.

Soren Andreassen – Judo (Chilliwack)

This season, Soren took home silver at the Rainier Cup, Peak International, and Saskatchewan Open tournaments. He is an Honour Roll student and has received awards of high achievement in school. He teaches sailing during the summer and has volunteered his time at various judo tournaments in the Lower Mainland.

Fraser River (Zone 4)

Julia Pedley Chan – Figure Skating (New Westminster)

Julia is a Skate Canada Quad Gold Skater, having completed Gold Dance and Artistic this year. She placed 3rd at the BC StarSkate Finals in Juvenile U12 and finished the year as the Star 7 Women Regional Champion. Through her studies in the Flex Humanities Mini School Program at Vancouver Technical Secondary, she has maintained a 97% average and assisted with PhD research. She was chosen to participate in the 2022 BC Social Studies Teachers Association Annual Conference and has continued volunteering weekly at the New West Famers Market and with her figure skating club, along with competitions in her hometown.

Maksym Klymenko – Judo (Coquitlam)

Maksym has capture numerous judo medals, most recently at an interprovincial competition in Saskatchewan earlier this year. He has been recognized for his advanced knowledge and proficiency in math by his teacher and pears as well as developed a passion for programming, creating mobile games and other applications. Through his school’s leadership program, he has created and implemented a plan to make it a more welcoming and enjoyable environment for all students.

Vancouver-Coastal (Zone 5)

Amanda Lee – Karate (Vancouver)

Amanda is an eleven-time karate provincial champion and nine-time Canada Open medalist, dating back to 2016. She is a straight A and Honour Roll student and has competed in numerous competitions as part of the debate, math, Mandarin poetry recitation, and public speaking teams. Amanda is a junior instructor and official at her karate club and aspires to compete internationally as part of the National Team.

Markus Tai – Archery (Richmond)

In 2018, Markus placed first and set a provincial record in recurve at the BC Archery Junior Olympian Program Competition. He has volunteered as a Range Safety Officer since 2021, after receiving 90% in the Archery Canada Safety Office Exam, while also coaching young students on weekly basis as a Hapkido Black Belt instructor.

Vancouver Island-Central Coast (Zone 6)

Gwenyth Kerr – Biathlon (Comox)

Gwenyth was the top finisher at the BC Winter Games biathlon qualifying race. She received the overall academic excellence award at her grade 7 graduation, having the highest overall grades in her year. She enjoys helping kids and find a passion for both biathlon and sailing. Gwenyth’s future goals include pursuing a post-secondary education in the medical field.

Tyson Popove – Freestyle Skiing (Campbell River)

Tyson’s proudest sport accomplishment is coming away with gold in moguls at the SunPeaks Timber Tour earlier this year. He often goes above and beyond his assigned work at school and enjoys volunteering to shovel snow and dirt, build jumps, an fundraise for skiing and BMX competitions.

North West (Zone 7)

Molly Mertin – Ringette (Terrace)

Molly as named the Jr Girls Basketball MVP for her zone in 2022 – the same year she qualified for the XC Running Championships in Victoria and won the SX Cup with her club soccer team. Molly tutors her teammates in math and volunteers during lunch hours to mentor younger students and students with an intellectual disability.

Taisiya Kasum – Figure Skating (Smithers)

The past two years, Taisiya has given back by teaching kids in her community to skate, volunteering at the animal shelter, and raising money for people in Ukraine. She earned first place at the Kla How Ya Competition and CNCR Regional for Star 7 Artistic. She graduated from elementary school with extending grades, having learned French and Russian.

Cariboo-North East (Zone 8)

Addison Paulson – Ringette (Prince George)

Addison is an affiliate player on the U16 Team BC – a competitive ringette team comprised of players from across the province. She has consistently achieved straight A’s while enrolled in French immersion and received the Academic Award for the top grade 10 student at her high school in 2022, where she is student council President.

Tanner McConkey – Cross Country (Prince George)

Tanner came in 10th place at the 2022 Canadian National Championship in the 10km classic competition and was the top Canadian U16 skier at the 2023 World Junior Qualifier in the 20km classic distance and 10km skate distance. He has served as a coach assistant to young kids at the Calediona Nordic Ski Club and the Prince George Canoe and Kayak Club.

Thank you to all participants who took the time to share their involvement and achievement in your sport, at school, and as a leader in the community through their application to the BC Games Leadership Bursary.

We hope that the Games were a memorable experience and encourage all applicants to look for ways to continue to exhibit leadership in sport, at school, and in their community.

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