Three local athletes recipients of Dan Snyder scholarships

Jonathan Reinhart, Tyler Townsend and Savannah Campbell are this year’s winners of the award

Three local athletes recipients of Dan Snyder scholarships
The winners of this year’s Dan Snyder scholarships gathered at the home of LuAnn and Graham Snyder August 23. From left, Savannah Campbell, LuAnn Snyder with her grandson Drew standing in front, Graham Snyder, Tyler Townsend, the Snyder’s other grandson Reed, and Jonathan Reinhart. [Faisal Ali / The Observer]

For their athleticism and  academic prowess, local athletes Jonathan Reinhart, Tyler Townsend and Savannah Campbell were awarded scholarships from the Dan Snyder Memorial Scholarship Fund at a ceremony last week.

Recognizing their achievements both on and off field, the award granted each recipient $1,600 for the new year at their post-secondary schools of choice.

“It feels awesome, to be honest.” said Townsend about receiving the scholarship. “It’s an honour to win the Dan Snyder – (it’s really) something that means so much and people work so hard for it every year.”

Townsend was selected under the scholarship’s “Woolwich Minor Hockey” category for his years with the Wildcats, but it’s fair to say that was not all the appeal he had going for him. At 19, Townsend has had a deep connection to the game and an active involvement in the community for much of his adolescent life.

Townsend first got on the ice at the age of three, started playing at the age of five, and has been playing ever since. He grew up in Milton but moved to Woolwich in Grade 8 where he joined the Wildcats. Besides playing the sport, he also assisted coaching the local Minor PeeWee A team. At high school, he joined a student group to raise money for various community events, and played in a variety of teams during his time there.

For the time being, Townsend says he’s too old to keep playing minor hockey now that he’s starting university. While he isn’t planning on continuing competitive playing, that doesn’t mean his hockey days are over.

“(I) just want to play some hockey, have some fun and stay in shape,” he says of his immediate hockey plans. After completing his studies in international business at the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Townsend says he would enjoy coaching.

For the recipient of the “Elmira Sugar Kings” category of the Dan Snyder Scholarship, Jonathan Reinhart, the award is a welcome boon for his university career.

“(I was) very excited when I found out,” says Reinhart about receiving the scholarship. “It helps a lot with all the money I got to pay this year for tuition, the house and all that. So it helps a lot for sure, and I was fortunate enough to get it.”

Reinhart played minor hockey with Hespeler Minor Hockey and Cambridge Minor Hockey before moving to Elmira and joining the Sugar Kings. He then played for four years with the Sugar Kings as a goalie, and for him the experience was irreplaceable. “It was the best four years of my life, that’s for sure,” he said, noting that the Sugar Kings’ Sutherland Cup win last season was especially thrilling.

Besides his hockey prowess, Reinhart had a good track record in the classroom, saying he always took school very seriously. In the wider community, he volunteered at times with the Woolwich Sun Rays and played ball hockey with the special players.

Reinhart is transferring out of Conestoga College to the University of Windsor in September for his second year in business and economics studies. He’s keen to go pro, and while he ends his stint with the Sugar Kings, he’s now turned his sights to the Windsor Lancers hockey team.

The third recipient of the Dan Snyder Scholarship, Savannah Campbell of Elmira, meanwhile is a track and field athlete. Qualifying in the “Woolwich Community Open” category of the award, 18-year-old Campbell is humbled to have been selected for the award.

“I was really happy. I was honoured to have been selected by the committee. Somebody like Dan Snyder is a huge community figure,” said Campbell. “It’s a huge honour!”

Campbell joined her school track team in Grade 8, and she’s been running since. Campbell was a top-15 finisher at the nationals for two years in the 400m hurdles. Off the field, she has been extensively involved at her school, including volunteering her time to assist coaching the EDSS track team, and joining a number of clubs like Reach for the Top, Mathletes, the English  and philosophy clubs. And that’s all on top of her strict training regimen, and her homework.

She will be heading to the University of Ottawa in the fall for her studies in biology, and she hopes to pursue research in the field afterwards. During studying, Campbell still will be making time for her running, however, and plans to join the varsity track team.

“I don’t know how far I plan on pursuing track. I love the sport and I’ll continue to do it throughout university, hopefully – injuries aside,” she added with a laugh. “After I’m done with running I plan to pursue coaching in some degree.”

The Dan Snyder Memorial Scholarship Fund was founded after the passing of hockey player Dan Snyder in a car accident in 2003. Recipients for the award are chosen by a committee that includes some of Snyder’s family.

The organization has provided $54,519 to local athletes and students since its founding in 2004.

All three athletes were honored at a reception on Wednesday evening in Waterloo.