The world of a student athlete is one of books, tests, practices, games and for some, you can add work to the list.
So when the opportunity for some financial assistance comes along the help is embraced and welcomed.
Red Deer College held their annual breakfast at Westerner Park which injects cash into the school’s Athletic Leadership Fund and it was also the stage for presenting a pair of $1,500 scholarships to two deserving students.
One of those was RDC Queens golfer Melissa Koster who was surprised by the honour and at the same time thankful for the financial help coming her way.
“It’s hard to work while you’re in school and I’m a student and I don’t work while I’m in school,” she said. “Scholarship money is a huge help because I like to succeed in academics and athletics so working just doesn’t happen.”
Striking that balance between the books and the golf course for Koster wasn’t that easy in her first year of post-secondary education.
“My first year I did not do well in school. I played college golf in 2010 and I did not succeed academically. Going from high school to college there is very different learning.”
Koster said there was a lot of self-motivation needed and teachers aren’t constantly checking your work so you have to keep an eye on things yourself.
“I was too focused on athletics because I was excited to play college golf, it was something I loved but then it was, ok, academics does need to come first.”
She said things picked up for her in the classroom in her second and third years which saw her getting honours but she admits you don’t have much of a social life in order to reach that pinnacle.
“You have to learn to sacrifice that if you want to play athletics,” said Koster. “It’s rewarding , it’s awesome in the end.”
Koster plans to take her PAT (Player Ability Test) this August in order to turn professional and she says the advice for former Calgary Flame tough guy Tim Hunter will help her get there.
Hunter said the difference between average and great athletes is the really good ones do what’s required, and then some.
“It’s cool to see someone do that and win the Stanley Cup so I need to learn to do the ‘and then some’ and take it to the next level with my golf,” she said.