A new EDSS graduate has been named one of eight recipients of the Kitchener Sports Association (KSA) scholarship for 2022. Figure Skater Hanna Ehrlich was presented the $1,000 award last Sunday.
“[They] called me on my way home from skating. And then he just told me that I was going to be one of the recipients of the award – it was a really happy drive the rest of the way home,” said Ehrlich.
She has been skating most of her life and has several recognitions for her ability, including the STARSkate gold skills test and STAR 4 elements.
“I’ve been figure skating since I was like three. My mom signed me up for Canskate and then I just fell in love with it from there,” explained Ehrlich.
The KSA has been awarding the scholarship since 1996. Bob Fedy, chair of the KSA scholarship committee, says the recipients are selected based on more than just athletic ability.
“A student that’s awarded the scholarship… is a well-rounded student athlete. Someone who displays reasonably good academics and they’ve contributed to the school environment in some way – that’s usually involved through some sort of club. They’ve contributed to the sport or sports that they play now. [Including at] least some involvement sort of beyond the sport itself, whether it be helping out the coach, timekeeping or refereeing,” he explained.
“[They are] a well-rounded individual, that person that we would say is a good community-minded citizen, as well as an athlete, as well as academically proficient,” Fedy said.
Ehrlich was a strong applicant for the scholarship, Fedy said.
“She had demonstrated that she had achieved a high-level standing in sport figure skating… Her school marks were very good. Her letters of recommendation from her teacher and her coach were very good, identifying her as a person of strong character, a person who is willing to put the time in training a person who is willing to help others,” he said.
Reaching the level she’s at obviously took effort, Fedy said.
“I’m not going to discredit any other sports, but that’s an example where you have to put the time in if you’re going to become proficient in figure skating.”
Ehrlich is currently a member of the Ilderton-based Ice Ignite synchronized team, which she explained is more difficult than individual figure skating.
“I find that the singles is completely different than synchro because a major part of synchro is making shapes on the ice and doing everything at the same time and everybody being responsible for doing their own part,” she said.
“Coaches point out how pair skating is hard enough to get two people to do the same thing at the same time but with synchro there’s 16 people on the ice and you have to get every person to do the same thing at the same time.”
Ehrlich gave credit to her coaches, highlighting KW Skating coach Rebecca Babb, who encouraged her to try out for the synchronized team.
“The last year that I was on the [KW] team, they weren’t sure if they were going to have an intermediate team the next year, so she was one that encouraged me to go and try to be on the junior team,” Ehrlirch said.
Ehrlich will be studying Kinesiology at Western University in September in hopes of eventually going to medical school, all while she pursues skating as far as she can.