Four Athletes to Benefit in 25th Anniversary Year
Winnipeg MB (April 21, 2021) — The Nykoluk family and Winnipeg rowing community are proud to celebrate the 25th year of the scholarship established in memory of Peter Nykoluk.
The first scholarship was awarded in 1995 and since then has grown over 20 times, and has provided financial assistance to nearly 50 remarkable student athletes. Many have turned out to be leaders in their community and profession, as well as continuing to be part of the rowing community. This year, four outstanding students who are also competitive athletes will share an award of $20,000.
The Peter Nykoluk Rowing Scholarship is offered in cooperation with Student Aid and Awards at the University of Manitoba and has been supported by the Province of Manitoba’s Scholarship and Bursary Initiative (MSBI).
The first-ever recipient was Karen Styrchak, a competitive rower at the WRC in 1995. Today, Karen holds a senior management position in the private sector while also being a busy mother. She has devoted much of her time and talents over the years by serving on the annual scholarship assessment committee, which she currently leads as chair.
Karen is delighted to see the Peter Nykoluk Rowing Scholarship reach a milestone year: “Being part of this tradition has been an honour. It was significant assistance to me when I received it as a student, and since then it has been wonderful to see it benefit so many athletes who work hard to pursue post-secondary education alongside the sport.”
“We hope to keep giving back to the rowing community for many years to come through this important scholarship in memory of Peter Nykoluk, an athlete who truly loved rowing, his teammates, and his community,” says Styrchak.
Mike Caryk is a powerful athlete with a background in basketball and track, who was skeptical to start rowing. Now in his third year, he recently competed in the World Virtual Indoor Rowing Championships where he placed 5th in the world in his category.
Hanika Nakagawa has received this award and recognition in the past, which demonstrates her continued commitment to the sport both as an athlete and as a coach who is working with new athletes and drawing them in to rowing.
Michael Pelley was a multi-sport athlete before coming to rowing. He has been committed to competitive training for the past three years and making big gains as he works towards racing at the 2022 Canada Summer Games.
Katie Sierhuis has a passion for rowing and works hard to make improvements. She is looking forward to another summer of daily training on the red river with her teammates, and to see where the sport will take her.
The Peter Nykoluk Rowing Scholarship was established in cooperation with the Manitoba Rowing Association, Winnipeg Rowing Club (WRC), and University of Manitoba Financial Aid and Awards. It has been handed out annually since 1995 to recipients who have distinguished themselves with notable accomplishments in and dedication to rowing, and who have met other criteria that reflects educational aspirations, positive personal traits, contributions to development of the sport, and leadership qualities.
Peter Nykoluk was a competitive rower who proudly represented the Winnipeg Rowing Club at regattas, and supported his club and colleagues in many ways. Peter died in 1990 as he came to the rescue of teammates involved in an accident that occurred when the University of Manitoba crew was travelling to a regatta in Minneapolis.
Peter was a unique individual whose enthusiasm for life was evident in everything he undertook. The rowing scholarship was established to recognize individuals whose contributions to the sport closely parallel the values of determination, commitment and sportsmanship consistently displayed by Peter.
In addition to the scholarship, Peter’s memory lives on in Peter’s Garden, which brilliantly blooms each summer on the grounds of the Winnipeg Rowing Club. As well, the Nykoluk Memorial Trophy is presented annually to the fastest women’s senior pair at the North West International Rowing Association (NWIRA) Championship Regatta.
At 140 years old, the Winnipeg Rowing Club is one of the oldest sporting organizations in Western Canada. It has been in operation since 1881, stopping only twice – during WWI and WWII. A long-time tenant of the banks of the Red River in downtown Winnipeg, the WRC survived the North-West Rebellion of 1885, the General Strike of 1919, the Great Depression of the 1930’s, the Great Flood of 1950, and the Flood of the Century in 1997. Over the years the clubhouse has been destroyed by fire, wind, and water, but has always managed to maintain its long and proud tradition. Today, the WRC is a non-profit organization with a rich and successful sporting history, fostering generations of camaraderie and friendships. Members range in age from early teens right up to the 80’s, and the club offers programs for all skill levels.