Emily Meier - 2019 BCHSGRA Scholarship Recipient
My name is Emily Meier and I am a first year member of the UBC Women’s Varsity Rugby team while also being the recipient of the BC Girls High School Scholarship. I just wanted to express my sincere gratitude for the financial support this award has offered me. It has been put towards my tuition and housing expenses helping minimize the amount of time spent working, allowing me to focus on academics and athletics. I am currently trying to pay for all of my schooling on my own as my parents are unable to financially support me due to our minimal income as dairy farmers. With this scholarship, the stress associated with finding a way to finance my time at UBC has been significantly reduced and I again thank you for that.
Some background information on myself would include that I am one of four children born and raised on a dairy farm in Abbotsford by my two parents Chris and Erica. I spent much of my time working early in the morning and late in the evenings milking cows and cleaning stalls from my childhood to my grade twelve year. I enjoyed living on the farm that I have come to call home but I wanted to push myself towards a career path more suited to my ambitions by going to university and getting a degree. One of the large contributing factors that enticed me to come to UBC is the renowned academics and pristine athletics offered here at the university. Currently I have been playing rugby for 11 years, having started at the bright age of 7 in the Abbotsford Mini rugby program. I originally started off playing on all boys teams growing up, often being the only girl. This challenged me to build confidence in myself and not let the fact that I was different hold me back from playing the sport I am so passionate about today. When I hit middle school, I was finally able to play on an all girls team for the first time. I loved the camaraderie that came with playing rugby on an fully female team, showing me that I could form lifelong friendships with teammates rather than feeling singled out by being a different gender. In my grade 8 year I ended up captaining the team which taught me key leadership skills that I was going to use later in leading my high school, club, regional, and provincial teams.
At the beginning of 2019 I was also long listed to be a part of the Canada U18 women’s team set to play the U.S.A. in December, but unfortunately on April 24th I sustained a lower left ankle fibula fracture in a exhibition high school rugby game. I was devastated that I was unable to play rugby from April to November, missing my last year of high school, regional, and provincial rugby along with my first varsity season as a T-Bird and the chance of making the U18 national team. After many moths of painful rehabilitation I have finally started practicing and will now be able to play in my first game in the coming weeks. It has been a long emotional and physically painful road but the end is finally in sight.
On the academic side of things, my first semester has gone by smoothly, having received an average of 73% and hoping to improve in the second semester. It has been quite an adjustment coming from the relaxed environment of high school to the challenges of university, but I think I handled it quite well. I am currently enrolled in the faculty of Kinesiology and have been loving every class I have taken so far. I think my choice in post-secondary education is a perfect fit for me as it blends my love for the sciences and sport into one place. At the beginning of grade 12 I actually was unsure of what stream of study I wanted to pursue. However, having considered that I loved the AP Biology course that I was taking and PE being another one of my passions, I realized that Kinesiology was a perfect fit. The tight knit faculty and inspirational profs have consistently proven to me that I made the right choice in area of study and university.
Once I have finished my degree, I hope to apply to the masters program of physiotherapy here at UBC to further my educational aspirations. After sustaining many injuries that come with playing rugby, and volunteering at a physiotherapy clinic in Abbotsford, I have been inspired to pursue an occupation in this area. I think my social skills, athletic knowledge from rugby and my strong academics will prove me to be a qualified candidate in entering the program.
Once again, I would like to say thank you for the part you have played in supporting my goals and aspirations. Hopefully one day I will be able to repay the favour by investing in the same rugby program that chose to invest in me. Providing a scholarship not only supports athletes like myself academically, but in the lives they will lead after the books have been closed.