LINDA STORY Uxbridge Skating Alumni
UXBRIDGE: It may not have been the high school graduation that she had imagined back in September 2019, but for Gwyneth Jones of Uxbridge, it was still extraordinary. In past years the Marion Cassie Memorial Scholarship has been presented in June, to the recipient during the graduation ceremonies held at Uxbridge Secondary School, or more recently, Uxbridge Arena. This year the recipient received her good news via an email, sent to her from the Past President of the Uxbridge Skating Alumni, Val Kolenbrander, at the beginning of this month. Were there hundreds of cheering and applauding spectators witnessing the presentation? No, there were not. But Gwyneth Jones was with a group of friends when she received the great news of her achievement. “I was really happy and surprised! And my friends were with me to helped me celebrate! It was pretty special.” In order to be considered for the annually-awarded Marion Cassie Memorial Scholarship, each applicant needed to demonstrate to the selection committee that he or she has skated and volunteered extensively, with his or her home club, in Port Perry or Uxbridge. Gwyneth Jones successfully was able to prove her skating achievements and her volunteerism with the Uxbridge Skating Club. Gwyneth has passed her Junior Bronze levels in freeskate, dance and skills throughout her skating career, with the help of her skating coach, Caroline Berkhos. She has been a successful participant in the annual Innisfil, Orangeville and Keswick Skating Competitions. She also volunteered every Sunday as an amateur coach, helping young children during the Can Skate programs offered through the Uxbridge Skating Club. Each year Gwyneth assisted with the Uxbridge Carnival, helping the Can Skaters with their performances on the ice. Gwyneth, always willing to help, has been a reliable volunteer, but not only with her skating club but also with Shenderey Gymnastics Club, where she has been an active member for several years and at summer camp for her church in Leaskdale. Asked if she has any special memories of her skating activities, Gwyneth reminisced about one special and fun skating competition, in which she competed with her friends. She and her coach, Caroline, choreographed a solo performance to a Selena Gomez song ‘Love You Like a Love Song’. “It was fun to skate to a favourite song and not have to be so serious on the ice! It was something different,” Gwyneth enthusiastically added. Gwyneth is working at Butternut Manor, where she worked while in grade 11 and 12, keeping up her grades to be accepted at the University of British Columbia (Okanogan Campus) for Civil Engineering. She developed this interest in design while taking a grade 11 course in Design Technology. Because of the Covid-19, Gwyneth will take her courses online, hoping to live in residence on campus, in the future. There are many careers open to Gwyneth after she graduates, but she is looking towards designing homes. Gwyneth added, “Thank you to my coach, Caroline Berkhos, for encouraging me and never giving up on me!” She would also like to thank her mom and dad, Caroline and Chris Jones for their love and support, and to the Uxbridge Skating Alumni for awarding her the Marion Cassie Memorial Scholarship. We wish Gwyneth much-deserved success in her studies and in all of her future endeavours.