Jacob Cathcart says it's a huge honour to be selected as the recipient of this year's Mike Bigland Memorial Scholarship.

"I'm so thankful for being considered for this award," says the 18-year old. "It means a lot to me and my family."

Cathcart played his entire 13-year minor hockey career with Cochrane Minor Hockey, starting in Timbits and lacing up his last two seasons with the 'AAA' midget Airdrie CFR Bisons. 

"My years in minor hockey in Cochrane were really special," says Cathcart. "I had some great experiences, played on some great teams, won a couple of championships, and made some friends for life. It was amazing."

He says he never had the pleasure of meeting Mike Bigland, or playing on one of his teams. He says he heard great things about him from older players.

Cathcart continues to play intramural hockey while pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Calgary.

Besides his love of the sport, Cathcart was celebrated for being a well-rounded individual who has generously offered his time and talents to a variety of charities and organizations, including the Boys and Girls Club and minor hockey.

"He is a young man of character who always strives to do what is right. He has fully embraced the mantle of servant leadership, and is a team-first individual," the crowd was told during the scholarship presentation at the 'Pink in the Rink' game of the AA midget Bow Valley Timberwolves, Nov. 9.

In April 2014, Mike Bigland passed away after a courageous battle with cancer. He spent 12 years in Cochrane volunteering his time and was a proud and significant contributor to Cochrane Minor hockey.

"Mike not only demonstrated passionate enthusiasm for the game of hockey, but as a coach imparted on his players' character, commitment, professionalism, and respect both on and off the ice." 

It is these attributes that Cochrane Minor Hockey recognizes through the Mike Bigland Memorial Scholarship.

Thane Kondrat was the inaugural recipient of the scholarship in 2016.

'Pink in the Rink' game saw both the arena and players decked out in pink. Its 50-50 draw raised $1,226 for the Canadian Cancer Society.