Okanagan-Shuswap Conference bursary recipients


The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League is proud to announce the 12 student-athletes who competed during the 2023-24 season that it has selected to receive league bursaries. Each bursary is valued at $1,000 and will be applied towards post-secondary studies.

Next are the recipients from the Okanagan-Shuswap Conference.


Brendan Smith – Kelowna Chiefs – Smith graduated from Sa-Hali Secondary in Kamloops in 2022 as an A student throughout high school. He has taken a Business Administration class from the University of Fredericton. Following his junior career, Smith would like to play Canadian college hockey, eyeing USPORTS in Western Canada.

With the Chiefs, he volunteered as a goalie coach, taught kids how to skate, assisted with the Rutland Scarecrow Festival, reading to kids and more. During his own time, he tutored students, helped at the Kamloops Food Bank and with sandbagging in the spring.

Smith is motivated to become an entrepreneur and has begun developing skills as a business person with a car detailing business he started last summer. Chiefs head coach Travers Rebman describes Smith as a hard worker who is driven and always expects more from himself. 


Sam Lewis – Kamloops Storm – Lewis graduated from Sa-Hali Secondary in Kamloops in 2021 as an A student and has been taking classes at Thompson Rivers University, continuing to earn high marks with a GPA of 3.28. Next fall he will transfer to UVic to study Law, while playing for the Vikes in the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League. Once Lewis completes his education and playing career, his goal is to work at a law firm or begin his own firm in B.C. Lewis also has an interest in playing professional hockey.

Storm general manager Matt Kolle described Lewis as a dedicated and focused hockey player, who achieves a high level in his studies and engages positively in the community – viewed as a leader amongst his peers. With the Storm, Lewis has volunteered with Raise A Reader Kamloops, Labour Unions BBQ, Tru Winterfest as well as the Teddy Bear Toss in partnership with the Kamloops Food Bank. He has also been involved with New Life Mission.


Ryan Larsen – Kamloops Storm – Larsen graduated from Westsyde Secondary in Kamloops in 2022 with As and Bs, and has been studying Science at Thompson Rivers University. He plans to earn his Bachelor of Health and Exercise Sciences degree from UBC-O in Kelowna. He’s looking to become a kinesiologist or physiotherapist once he’s completed his studies.

Larsen is interested in playing in the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League after he completes his final season with the Storm in 2024-25, as well as getting into coaching or hockey training. 

With the Storm, Larsen’s community involvement includes doing work at the Kamloops Food Bank, Kamloops Minor Hockey Skills Camps and being camp leader for the Kamloops Minor Hockey Association Summer Camp sessions.  


Levi Brewer – Osoyoos Coyotes – Brewer graduated from Eston Composite School in 2021 and was an honour student from 2018-21. Brewer plans to go to college to earn his education degree and become a middle school teacher. He would like to play at the college level in either the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League or the American Collegiate Athletic Association.

For two straight years Brewer received the Coyotes’ Team Leadership/Community Involvement Award and this year received the C Team Leadership Group award. With the Coyotes, he helped with the Osoyoos Rotary Club LobsterFest, Terry Fox Run, Osoyoos Animal Lifeline Response Team, as well as the Osoyoos and Oliver Elementary Readings and more. In Eston, Brewer was an assistant coach in hockey and basketball and helped with baseball clinics.

Coyotes head coach Ken Law says Brewer is a dedicated individual with a strong work ethic.


Austin Wooley – Revelstoke Grizzlies – Wooley graduated from Mount Baker Secondary in Cranbrook in 2022 with straight As and was a top student throughout high school. He wants to become a chartered accountant, studying at the College of the Rockies in Cranbrook for a year, then transferring to the University of Calgary to earn a Bachelor of Commerce. 

Wooley was named the Grizzlies Top Defenceman this season and his future in hockey includes potentially coaching at the minor level or scouting for a junior team while going to school. 

His community involvement with the Grizzlies included volunteering for the Poppy Program, Team Christmas Shopping for families, Meals on Wheels and helping at a Thrift Store. When he was in Grade 6, Wooley helped with Operation Christmas Child.


Alex Smith – Sicamous Eagles – The Highwood High School graduate from High River, Alta., graduated in 2021 with plans to study mathematics to become an actuary. Smith excelled at Highwood as a student-athlete leading to him being awarded the Carter Corrigan Memorial Academic Athlete of the Year award going to a graduating athlete, who demonstrates outstanding performances in academics and athletics. He was also a member of the French Immersion Program. The Eagles captain would like to continue playing at the collegiate level.

During his time with the Eagles, Smith got involved with school activities such as Unplug and Play, Reading with Preschool and Trick or Treating with kids. Smith also was a power-skating helper, athletic trainer and a helper for TDS Industries. Smith also helped with a student hockey game against the RCMP for a High River Food Bank Fundraiser.

Smith played a key role for the Eagles as its captain for two seasons, providing leadership as a guiding influence and mentor to teammates.