It may be the offseason on the pebbled ice, but Madison Kleiter’s hard work and dedication not only to her sport, but her studies as well has earned her a prestigious scholarship.
Twenty-year-old Kleiter, of Saskatoon was one of six Canadian junior curlers named a Spirit of Sandra Scholar by the Sandra Schmirler Foundation.
“I was pretty excited,” Kleiter admitted. “I mean I worked really hard on my scholarship application, but it meant so much to be chosen, to be a part of the foundation, I feel very grateful for the opportunity.”
Since 2013 the foundation has provided 60 junior curlers with scholarships on the merit that they’re outstanding curlers, conscientious student and dedicated volunteers.
“I think it just comes down to prioritizing your time and time management’s been huge for me, just trying to fit in curling and fitting in my school and work, trying to juggle it all,” she explained. “I think being an athlete has helped me prioritize school and I still think the busier I am the better things go for me.”
The scholars each receive a $5,000 dollar scholarship and a chance to work with two world champion curlers, Cathy Overton-Clapham and Lisa Weagle.
An added element to the scholarship, at the end of the 2023 curling season the scholars will also award a $10,000 dollar grant to a hospital to go towards its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and Kleiter, a Biomedical Sciences student; already has a good idea of where her money will go.
“The Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital is where I’d like to put it,” she said.
The honour is doubly special for the Kleiter family as Madison isn’t the first curler in her house to receive this scholarship, her older brother Rylan was named a Spirit of Sandra Scholar back in 2019.
“So, I told my parents, but I didn’t tell my brother right away,” she chuckled. “I was like, I’ve got to try and be humble about it, I don’t want to rub it in his face. But they were all just as excited as I was, my parents saw how hard I worked at it, so they were pretty proud of me too.”