A Champion on and off the ice Pandas Curling champion and Nursing graduate Selena Sturmay has been awarded the 2019/20 Kathlete Yetman Trophy.

Canada West Champion. U SPORTS Champion. Qualifying as Team Canada for the 2021 Winter Universiade Games in Switzerland.

The first half of 2020 was incredibly successful for former Pandas Curling skip, and Faculty of Nursing graduate, Selena Sturmay.

And yet, perhaps the most meaningful award or accolade was given to Sturmay on Wednesday, as she was awarded the 2019/20 Kathlete Yetman Trophy as the top female Academic All-Canadian at the University of Alberta.

“It’s been amazing, throughout my athletic and academic career at the UofA. Being an Academic All-Canadian, and receiving this award, is something that is near and dear to my heart,” said Sturmay, who graduates as a three-time Academic All-Canadian. “I put a lot of effort and pride into my studies, and I’m thankful we have the AAC award to celebrate the student-athletes not only for their athletic accomplishments, but also their academics.”

Very few student-athletes are able to meet the challenging demands that come from the Faculty of Nursing, and even fewer are able to do it while being an Academic All-Candian and a championship curler.

Even more impressive, Sturmay was also able to add in a heavy involvement with the University Athletics Board as the team rep for Pandas Curling. Her role with the student-athlete led community service group including organizing all team initiatives such as Read-In-Week, Stollery Bear Hugs, and Gym Class Heroes.

Sturmay is one of just six student-athletes from Nursing to be an Academic All-Canadian in 2019/20, and is the first ever Pandas Curler to be awarded the Kathlete Yetman Trophy.

“I’d be lying if I said it was easy. I might be biased, but I think it’s one of the hardest programs to go through while also being a varsity athlete. With the demands that clinical rotations put on us students, we are basically working full time, then going to school full time, and then competing full time. Definitely hard at times, but if I could go back, I wouldn’t do it any other way. I loved that challenge.”

Sturmay and the Pandas captured the U SPORTS Curling Championship in mid-March in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba basically as the clock hit midnight, with the COVID-19 Pandemic temporarily ending organized sport across North America the following week.

2020 U SPORTS Champion Pandas Curling Team

And now she is faced with a new and daunting challenge; beginning her career as a nurse during the COVID-19 Pandemic at the Stollery Children’s Hospital. .

“It’s definitely interesting graduating and beginning my career in a pandemic. I’ve been lucky to get a job at the Stollery, which is a place I have always dreamed of working at. It’s great working with kids, and seeing the difference you make in their lives every day. I’m always just so excited to go to work.”

Sturmay will now go forward as the University of Alberta’s nomination for the U SPORTS Top 8 Academic All-Canadian award. Since its inception in 1993, 13 Golden Bears and Pandas have earned that honour, with Pandas Volleyball alumnae Meg Casault in 2017 being the most recent Panda.

Sturmay will also get one final shot to represent the University of Alberta at the next Winter FISU Games in Lucerne, Switzerland, having won the 2020 U SPORTS National Championship.

“Bit of a bummer not to get the chance to compete in January with the Games being postponed, but hoping they get rescheduled soon. I’m happy I get one more kick at the can as a Panda, and represent the UofA.”