Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School student, Aidan Proderick led the way for his team on and off the ice when the team had to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Proderick’s Loyalist Jets team made the OMHA Finals in one of his final years of minor hockey. It should have been a moment of celebration. But Proderick’s moment of joy was cut short because of the pandemic in March 2020.
Instead, he found himself along with a teammate speaking on behalf of the team in the local media about the cancelled season.
“I was extremely proud at the way they handled themselves and the maturity and conduct and the way they expressed their disappointment,” said his coach Chris Kelly.
For his four years at Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School, Proderick was on the honour roll while also being a valuable part of the soccer, volleyball and badminton teams.
As a result of his academic excellence, Proderick was selected for the OMHA-Dairy Farmers of Ontario bursary as one of five high school graduates from across the province who have made a big impact in their schools and in their communities in the 2020-21 school year. In being recognized for their roles as players, coaches and referees in the Ontario Minor Hockey Association, as well as their grades and extracurricular work outside the rink, they are this year’s winners of the $8,000 post-secondary bursaries.
Proderick is now enrolled in the General Arts and Economics program at Queen’s University.
“I believe that the skills he’s learned through his sporting pursuits have transferred nicely over to his academic pursuits because he’s learned how to manage his time, prioritize, work in a classroom and team environment,” said his high school guidance counsellor Ana Cantarutti.
Proderick also assisted in hockey summer camps and volunteered with local charities, events and projects.
Applications for 2022 Bursary Program will be announced in the coming weeks.
“DFO is happy to partner with the OMHA as part of our MilkUp program, which was created with youth success in mind. Under the MilkUP brand, we commit to providing a meaningful, measurable and enduring effect on youth sports and highlight the benefits of milk in a healthy, active lifestyle at all ages and skill levels,” said Cheryl Smith, Chief Executive Officer at DFO. “Our MilkUP brand campaign aims to reintroduce milk to Ontario youth in a way that inspires, celebrates and motivates teens to find the strength and energy on their journey in realizing their untapped potential. The bursary program will recognize some of the outstanding Ontario youth athletes who demonstrate MilkUPs values: perseverance, originality and heart.”
“We are extremely proud of the five recipients chosen for the Dairy Farmers of Ontario Bursary this year,” said Ian Taylor, Executive Director of the OMHA. “Their desire to give back during a challenging year in hockey and their excellence in the classroom shows their leadership as people and players. I am confident these five great athletes and students will continue to shine in their post-secondary education.”