Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 February 2012 00:04
Tuesday, 28 February 2012 21:19
Richmond Hill, Ont. (February 27, 2012)–Each year the Canadian Junior Golf Association (CJGA) recognizes two outstanding junior golfers who have shown a commitment to the game of golf, academics and community volunteerism.
This year, the CJGA is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2011 Mizuno All Canadian Award, Matt Gerber of Kitchener, Ontario and Grace Chua of White Rock, British Columbia.
“On behalf of Mizuno Canada Ltd I would like to congratulate both Matt and Grace on their selection as the 2011 Mizuno All-Canadian Award winners” said Mark Hansen, Director of Sales & Marketing for Mizuno Golf.
“Their outstanding achievements in school, in the community and on the golf course are all consistent with the characteristics of a Mizuno All Canadian Award winner. Mizuno is proud to be associated with these young individuals.”
“The Canadian Junior Golf Association could not be more pleased with the selection of both Matt and Grace and their extraordinary accomplishments both on and off the golf course as this year’s Mizuno All Canadian Award recipients” said Brad Parkins, Chief Operations Office for the CJGA.
“It was an extremely difficult selection with the number of quality applications submitted, however these two fine individuals are very deserving of this prestigious award and are well deserving of the accolades.”
Gerber, an 18-year old student-athlete from Kitchener, Ontario is completing his final year at of high school at Rockway Mennonite Collegiate before heading off to Princeton University in the fall, where he has accepted a golf scholarship and will be studying Engineering.
“I am very blessed and truly privileged to have been selected as this year’s recipient of the Mizuno All Canadian Award,” said an elated Gerber from his home in Kitchener. “I have looked at the list of past recipients and what some of them have gone on to accomplish, I am truly honoured.”
As a high school senior, Gerber performs at the top of his game in the classroom maintaining a 92.4% academic average (93.4% through his first semester as a senior).
He has received a number of academic awards including 11th grade top academic achievement award, Science (physics and chemistry), Social Studies (Geography), Mathematics, French and Music and finished in the top 25 percentile nationally in the Fermat Math Contest.
Matt has made an impact on his local community while volunteering with a number of organizations and events.
Working as a volunteer Sunday School teacher at River of Life Fellowship since 2008, Matt was responsible for assisting in the teachings on a monthly basis to all of the grades.
He also takes part in a program called Operation Christmas Child (Samaritan’s Purse), examining and packing parcels and gifts for less fortunate children during the holiday season.
As a volunteer member of the Social Concerns Committee at Rockway Mennonite Collegiate, he participates in fundraising initiatives and promotes awareness of local and global crises.
Such activities include raising funds for flood relief in Pakistan; raising money for the Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Support; annual food drive volunteer for the House of Friendship; and assisting in a local soup kitchen or planting trees while serving on the high school’s annual Envirathon/Servathon program.
Within the sporting community, Matt has acted as a junior mentor to young golfers while assisting his coach, Brad Sims, volunteering for junior camps and clinics since 2009.
He also volunteered as an instructor at the ALS Charity Golf Tournament in 2011; volunteered as an assistant at Sunnyside Public School for grade 7 & 8 Golf in Schools Program (2010); and acted as an on-ice volunteer with the Kitchener Minor Hockey Girls Bantam BB (2009-10).
Gerber’s achievements on the golf course are another reason for his enrollment at Princeton University come fall. He captured the CJGA National Match Play Championship in July, winning on the 19th hole in the final match while also claiming victory at the CJGA Eastern Canadian Junior Championship earlier in the month.
He finished off a strong 2011 with a fifth place at the CJGA Mizuno National Golf Championship at Grey Silo GC and finished third on the CJGA National Order of Merit.
He captured his Junior Club Championship (Rebel Creek GC) as well as a top five finish at the AJGA Rochester Open. Internationally, he represented Ontario at the Total International Junior Golf Tournament in Brussels, Belgium in 2011.
“I look forward to learning more about myself and exploring my potential as I move towards my future endeavors at Princeton,” added Gerber. “I am not sure where I will be in the future, but I look forward to keeping all my options open and see what God has planned for me.”
Grace, a 15-year old student-athlete from White Rock, British Columbia is currently in her junior year at Semiahmoo Secondary School where she carries a 4.0 GPA and is in the top 5% of the class.
“This awards means a lot to me and is so rewarding as it recognizes my achievements in all different aspects of my life, not just what I have done on the golf course,” said an elated Chua.
“To be selected from such a deep and talented pool of females from across the country really adds to the prestige of the award and it is such an honour to add my name to the list of past recipients.”
Currently completing her junior year, Grace has excelled in the classroom starting at a young age skipping third grade and maintaining a 4.0 GPA since grade 8, placing her on the school's Honor Roll since eighth grade.
In high school, she achieved top grades in both Spanish and Science in grade 9 and was the recipient of the Award of Excellence for the 2010-2011 school year.
“I work hard to achieve balance in my life and a lot of effort goes into my academics and extracurricular activities,” added Chua. “I do have aspirations to continue to play golf down the road, but I also have a dream of going to law school to earn my law degree.”
Within her community, Grace has shown a passion for giving back to others and helping out where help is needed. In 2010, Chua received the 2010 Youth Appreciation Award which recognizes volunteer work in the community.
She has assisted with the Canadian Cancer Youth Society Club assisting with fundraising initiatives of the club or assisting in cancer awareness sessions as well as volunteering at Peace Arch Hospital acting as a Junior Auxiliary Volunteer working with seniors. She has been a part of both programs since 2010.
With a passion for golf, Grace has assisted with the Junior Linkster Golf Tour Canada (B.C.) since 2009, volunteering on the tournament committee at numerous events during the tour’s seasonal schedule.
She played an important role with the program's Fairchild TV golf series in Richmond, B.C. while continuing to assist with database projects, fundraising initiatives and creating new programming for the junior boys and girls.
On the golf course, Grace has had a good deal of success. In 2011, she was a member of the gold medal Team B.C. team competition for the Western Summer Games and bronze medalist for the individual competition.
She represented the CJGA at the Junior World Golf Championships in San Diego, CA after finishing third in the CJGA Junior World Golf Championship Qualifier.
She had a top ten finish at the B.C. Junior Girls Championship and a top 25 finish at the Canadian Junior Girls Championship in 2011.
In 2010, Grace won a USGA Junior Girls Amateur Sectional Qualifier and went on to compete in the USGA Junior Girls Amateur. “I have set goals for myself this season to stay committed and focused to my training plan” she said.
“I want to be the best player I can be and continue to believe in myself and my abilities, and everything else will take care of itself”.
Previous Mizuno All Canadian Award Recipients
Year Male Female
2002 Robbie Greenwell, Georgetown, ON Jessica Potter, Coquitlam, B.C.
2003 Jason Bell, Thornhill, ON Kira Meixner, Richmond, B.C.
2004 Adam McCauley, Duncan, B.C. Laura Harris, New Minas, NS
2005 Cory Renfrew, Victoria, B.C. Brittany Henderson, Smiths Falls, ON
2006 Olivier Cardosa, Ile Bizard, QC Brittany Henderson, Smiths Falls, ON
2007 Michael Bosch, Calgary, AB Julia Hodgson, Univonville, ON
2008 Michael Ayotte, Whitby, ON Chelcia Peterson, Calgary, AB
2009 Zak Griffiths, Red Deer, AB Kiersten Klekner-Alt, Ottawa, ON
2010 Curtis Chan, Richmond, B.C. Sydney MacDonald, Calgary, AB
More articles by Press Release