The Winter Olympics sport of curling originated in Scotland in the 1500s before traveling to Canada and the United States with Scottish immigrants. In the United States, curling developed during the 1800s in states like Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota and New York. Curling scholarships in Canada, the United States and Scotland provide opportunities for promising curlers to shine not just nationally but on the world stage. As a sign of its popularity, curling is a television ratings leader during Winter Olympics coverage.
Royal Caledonian Curling Club Scholarship
According to the World Curling Federation website (worldcurling.org), curling probably started on the frozen lochs and ponds of Scotland, where the first official rules of the game date back to 1838. Reportedly, curling fascinated even Queen Victoria when she watched a demonstration of the sport’s granite stones flying across the ice. At Scotland’s Heriot Watt University, student athletes at the level of regional squad or higher are eligible to apply for scholarship assistance through the Sports Scholarship Program of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club (RCCC). Funding covers only sporting costs but not university fees, accommodation or living costs. Scholarships go to students competing at a national standard during the preceding 12 months. The scholarship value is undisclosed.
Fairbanks Curling Club Foundation Scholarship
In the United States, Alaska is among the states that provide scholarship opportunities for curlers. Students at the University of Alaska Fairbanks are eligible to apply for the scholarship offered by the Fairbanks Curling Club Foundation. These scholarship holders promote the sport of curling as active players, a mandatory requirement for receiving the award. Applicants must have a high school GPA of at least 3.0 and a minimum university GPA of 2.0. Applications must include a 500-word or less essay that describes the impact of curling on the applicant’s life, high school or college transcripts and two letters of recommendation. As of 2010, the value of the scholarship was $500 per semester for a full-time student.
Hec Gervais Academic & Curling Scholarship
In 2010, Canada topped the World Curling Federation’s world rankings for men’s competition and was second in women’s competition. The Hec Gervais Academic & Curling Scholarship honors the late Hector Gervais, an accomplished and highly successful curler also known in his native Canada and throughout the curling world as “The Friendly Giant.” Gervais believed in the importance of a good education, competitiveness and community leadership. The scholarship program, founded in 1999, reflects these values. It provides opportunities for young Alberta and Saskatchewan curlers defined as “elite athletes” to take their curling talents to new heights at the national and international levels. Curlers who are 20 years of age or younger as of Dec. 31 during the application year are eligible to apply. Competing in junior men’s or women’s, high school, winter games or mixed competitions and membership of a curling club are other requirements. As of 2009, the scholarship values were $3,000 each in Alberta and $2,000 each in Saskatchewan.
Glenn Watson Scholarship
The Glenn Watson Scholarship is available through the Southern Alberta Curling Association (SACA) and honors the late member of the SACA Board of Directors and curler. This annual scholarship is for a male or female junior curler who must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. Applicants who are 20 years old or younger must be regular curling participants with an organized curling league and club associated with SACA for a minimum of two full seasons. Applications must include a brief essay, evidence of a high school diploma and acceptance at a post-secondary institution, an estimate of income and likely expenses and two reference letters. As of 2009, the value of the scholarship was $1,250.
Based in Northern California, Maureen Katemopoulos has been a freelance writer for more than 25 years. Her articles on travel, the arts, cuisine and history have appeared in publications such as "Stanislaus Magazine," "Orientations," "The Asia Magazine" and "The Peninsula Group Magazine." She holds a Baccalaureate degree in journalism from Stanford University.