Kodiak women to name scholarship in honour of teammate
Before they serve up their Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference season tonight, the Lethbridge Kodiaks women’s volleyball team will honour the memory of one of their own.
Prior to tonight’s game against the Medicine Hat Rattlers at 6 p.m. at the Val Matteotti Gymnasium, the Kodiaks will unveil a banner to honour Emmalee Cherweniuk, who was killed in a car accident in March following her rookie season with the Kodiaks.
Cherweniuk’s family — which includes current Kodiak Sianna Cherweniuk — will be on hand as the Kodiaks will announce the creation of a new scholarship in her name, sponsored by the Kodiak Athletic Association, which will go to one Kodiaks player each season for at least the next three seasons.
“Going into any situation you don’t expect to lose a member of your team or your family,” said Kodiaks head coach Anna Schwark. “So that’s been hard. But I think we’re all very excited to honour her on Friday. It’s something we’re looking forward to. I’m really proud of these girls. They showed strength and resilience and bounced back so well. I’m really proud of them and I think Emmalee would be really proud of them, too. So I’m really excited for Friday as much as I am sad, just to have the opportunity to honour her.”
The scholarship is a fitting touch to an athlete who succeeded just as much in the classroom as she did on the volleyball court.
“Emmalee excelled on the court, but she was a great student as well,” said Schwark. “She made a lot of meaningful connections with her instructors and her classmates. So having something to give back to student athletics is awesome and an added bonus. Not only are we thinking of her, we’re thinking of people who emulate what she stood for as a student/athlete and it gives them a reward. So it’s really exciting to have that.”
As she begins her fourth season with the Kodiaks, Sianna said her teammates have rallied around her.
“We grew together as a team, these girls are my new sisters. I have 15 other sisters this year. So we’re just building from that and the love we have for each other. It’s going to be a great season. Everybody is so close, it’s like a true family.”
The pregame ceremony for Emmalee will take place at approximately 5:50 p.m.