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Where Are They Now: Bursary 'Gave Me the Opportunity'

By Ontario Minor Hockey Association, 02/07/23, 11:45AM EST


Catching up with OMHA Dairy Farmers of Ontario Bursary recipients

Players know first-hand the commitment needed to succeed at a high level on the ice and in the classroom. With this important year of high school, the hard work put forth by graduating students deserves to be recognized.

The OMHA Bursary Program presented by Dairy Farmers of Ontario rewards student athletes who are dedicated to community service, academics and athletics as they graduate high school and prepare to enter post-secondary education. Five DFO Bursaries will be awarded at $8,000 each and up to two Wally Scott Bursary recipient(s) can receive between $1,000 and $2,500.

Now in its fourth season, we reached out to some of the previous recipients to see how the bursary impacted them and how their studies are going.


Candidates must complete the application form below and submit it to the OMHA by 8:00 pm on February 26, 2023. Each application will be reviewed by a panel and only the winning recipients will be contacted by the OMHA. We wish the best of luck to all applicants.

“When you’re coming out of high school, anything you can get helps. The generosity of the Wally Scott Bursary was very big for me,” said Matthew van Oirschot. “Hockey is a big part of my life, and for it to also pay for in academics was nice for me. Going into first year, you have tuition and residence to pay for, it was really helpful.”

A bursary recipient in 2017, the now 23-year-old is in his first year of med school after an undergrad in engineering.

He sees the similarities between his educational path and his experience in minor hockey. Still active in the sport, he is now captaining his team in an all-medicine recreational league.

The lessons she learned in hockey are also helping Dani Karn in her first year of her Bachelor of Commerce in Food and Agricultural Business at the University of Guelph. She was a recipient of the Dairy Farmers of Ontario bursary.

“It helped me learn how to work with other people. Communicating with everybody, making sure everybody knows what they have to do. Quality of work too, making sure everybody is putting in an effort to reach your goals,” said Karn.

“In terms of balancing hockey and school life, it definitely helped prepare me with the time management skills that I would need,” echoed Owen Oelschlagel, a Dairy Farmers of Ontario bursary winner from last season. “Being in the locker room and collaborating and working as a team definitely helps when you’re working on group projects.”

Studying for his dual degree in Ivey Business and Engineering at Western University means there’s always a lot on the go for Oelschlagel. It’s what he’s noticed the most in the difference between high school and post-secondary education.

“You manage your time on your own, you learn on your own. and you have to take more initiative to get projects done and on time.”

With co-ops and internships on the horizon and the first semester in the books, university is bringing on new challenges and experiences.

“I’m really loving it. I wouldn’t have this opportunity without the bursary,” said Karn.

Hockey remains an important part of their lives. Seeking out intramural leagues within their schools has given the opportunity to stay involved in the game.

“It’s still my go-to extra curricular activity. It’s something I look forward to every week,” said van Oirschot. “Although times can get very busy, it’s really important to have those outlets and have fun.”

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