Congratulations to Savannah Hunik, the winner of the “Got What it Takes to Win” Grant. Savannah can take her game to the next level with her new custom Quickie All Court Sport Wheelchair.
Excerpt from Savannah’s Winning Letter:
“My name is Savannah Hunik, I am 16 years old and I have been playing wheelchair basketball in Calgary for almost 6 years. When I was 5 years old, my kindergarten teacher noticed that I had an uncommon way of walking and suggested to my parents that we seek out a medical professional and investigate further. From then until the time of my diagnosis with Morquio Syndrome when I was 8, my life revolved around going to school and the hospital. My condition is progressive in nature. When my diagnosis was established, it was a scary experience for my family and I as we adjusted to the idea that I would never be able bodied.”
“Even over the last couple of years, I have experienced decreased mobility and strength in my upper extremities, something that is new and scary to me. Since then I have realized how precious the opportunities I have now are, especially relating to wheelchair basketball. These prospects are very valuable, and I need to do everything I can to achieve my dreams before I am no longer able to play.”
“I have high standards for myself academically and I plan to pursue a career in health sciences, specifically Psychiatry. Similarly, basketball holds a high importance to me and I continuously strive for excellence. My short-term goals for basketball include playing with Team Alberta at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alberta and going to World’s in 2019 with the Canada U25 team. My long-term goal is to play on Team Canada. The short-term goals I have outlined are stepping stones to the goal of playing on Team Canada. Right now, the centre of my life is split evenly into basketball and school. Both are extremely important to me as I start to map out plans for my future.”
“Part of my commitment to wheelchair basketball is coaching the minis program in Calgary every week. This includes creating practice plans, demonstrating and teaching skills, providing feedback, scaling the instruction to different ages and abilities, and creating relationships with both the children and their parents. The children that come out are the future of the sport I love, and coaching them gives me the privilege of passing on my passion for the sport to the next generation of wheelchair basketball players.”
“I love wheelchair basketball for many reasons, but I would say my favourite part is the mental challenge it presents. You must always be prepared for the next play, and it is the little skills that make a truly great player. The overall group mentality and teamwork create an environment of collaboration and cooperation that I thoroughly appreciate. During the 40 minutes of gameplay, I am more focused than any other time. This game can come down to you making your foul shot, tough outside shot, or a simple layup which provides an exhilaration that cannot be replicated.”
“I believe I’ve Got What It Takes to Win because I learned in an environment in Calgary with incredible players that truly instilled the love of the game into me. I genuinely love playing wheelchair basketball, and it is one of the things that brings me the most joy in any form. I think of myself as a relentless defender, reliable teammate, and excellent provider of team spirit. Right now, I am fortunate enough to be in a position where having a new game chair could mean a lot of advancement in my basketball career. With a chair designed to fit me, I would be able to increase my speed, agility, shooting, and overall gameplay. This would help me as I try out for Team Alberta and the Canada U25 team, which are my stepping stones to working towards playing for Team Canada.”
Hooper Law is extending a special thank you to all those who participated in the “Got What it Takes to Win” Grant.
Below you will find video submissions from some of our finalists: