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RDP Athletics Honours Royals Dance & Rodeo Teams

May 21, 2024
A group picture of RDP's Rodeo Team including men and women in traditional western gear

At the Red Deer Polytechnic (RDP) Athletics Awards student-athletes who competed on the RDP Royals Rodeo and Dance teams were recognized for their individual and team accomplishments during the 2023/2024 season.

At the event, multiple awards were handed out, including the All Around Cowboy and Cowgirl along with additional Rodeo and Dance team awards.

Trina Carroll, RDP Royals Program Lead, explained she was extremely proud of both the Dance and Rodeo teams and their accomplishments this season.

“It was a big one and a little overwhelming. Our Rodeo team competed at the Canadian Collegiate Rodeo Association’s first-ever collegiate event held at the Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer while our Dance team performed on the national stage when the Polytechnic hosted the Women’s Volleyball National Championship. Hard to sum it all up, other than being extremely proud of how they all represented Red Deer Polytechnic.

Student-athlete Cayden Nickel took home the All Around Cowboy Award. After a successful 2022/2023 season when he earned first in Steer Wrestling and second in Tie Down Roping, Nickel had another impressive campaign, winning his way to the Canadian Collegiate Finals Rodeo (CCFR), once again. At the CCFR in Brooks this past weekend, Nickel put on quite the show inside the Silver Sage Arena as he finished in first place in Steer Wrestling and Tie Down Roping.

Nickel, who received the 2024 Finals High Point Cowboy Award, said his experience with the RDP Royals has been a fun and enjoyable experience.

“Trina and Becky have been very supportive of us. To receive the All-Around Cowboy Award in my final year means a lot to me. My time at RDP has been a memorable one and I want to thank everyone who has helped me and for this special award.”

Royals rookie Taylor Cholach was honoured as the All Around Cowgirl. She was also awarded the RDP High Point Cowgirl Award this season for her total point accumulation throughout the Canadian Collegiate Rodeo Association (CCRA) season. She was able to qualify for the CCFR in Pole Bending and Goat Tying but Cholach ran into some tough riders and missed the podium.

She explained her first year attending a post-secondary school took some adjusting but she was grateful to be a part of the Rodeo team.

“My first year was good. It had a lot of ups and downs while adjusting to college life and classes. I feel very honoured and grateful to take home All Around Cowgirl, especially knowing the great talent and dedication of every other cowgirl on the team.”

As for the team awards, Graham was awarded the Leadership Scholarship at the Athletics Awards night while Emily Buniak-Tiemstra took home this honour for the Dance Team. Lastly, rodeo competitor Emma Busson and dancer Rebecca Maron were awarded the Dedication Scholarship for their respective teams.

A group of female dancers strike a pose with their hands in the air above their heads in the middle of a packed gymnasium

Nickel and Cholach were not the lone Royals to qualify for the CCFR as Ryan Collett, Sara Fletcher and Tori Graham also represented RDP in Brooks. Collett finished in fourth place in Tie Down Roping and Team Roping with Nickel as his partner while their teammates Fletcher and Graham were named the Reserve Champions in this event.

During the 2023/2024 Athletics season, 25 student-athletes represented RDP Royals as members of the Dance and Rodeo Teams.

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