More than a decade after learning to water ski, it paid off — literally — for Cale Burdick.
Burdick won one of six $1,500 scholarships offered by the American Water Ski Educational Foundation last year, for making a splash both in the water and in the classroom. Winners are chosen based on involvement in water sports and financial need, as well as high grades.
“I actually get better grades during ski season because I’m so focused,” Burdick, a senior at Purdue University, said. “It makes you disciplined. You tell yourself, I really enjoy skiing, so I’d rather work hard on school work now rather than watch T.V. so I have time to ski later.”
Burdick, who says he’s been skiing non-stop since age 5, is a regular jump judge and a state safety director. He’s served as vice president and tournament director of the Purdue Alumni Tournament and as coach of the Indiana and Kansas Junior Development Clinics. Of the nine accepted water ski categories, Burdick participates in traditional water skiing, which includes jump, trick and slalom skiing. His best is slalom, he says, but his favorite is trick — where you’ve got 40 seconds to complete as many tricks, such as the toehold side slide and the double wake flip, as you can. Other water ski categories include show skiing, barefoot skiing, hydro-foiling, wake boarding, knee boarding, ski racing and disability skiing.
Burdick had applied for the water ski scholarship before but didn’t win. Still, he took a few hours to again fill out the application and write another essay, and this time he was successful.
“It does seem like a lot of work, but I got $1,500 for three, four hours of work,” he said. “I would suggest diving in deep for scholarships, because there’s a lot of them. And the more you do, the better.
“I’m a pharmacy student, so even though this is my senior year, I still have three years left, so this definitely helps out. It puts a little loan money to the side.”
The scholarship was established in 1983 and is not based on water skiing ability.
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