Ryan Sherrard Image
Ryan Sherrard '08
Not only will honours biochemistry alumnus Ryan Sherrard be completing his PhD in cell biology at LMU Munich this year, he will also be attempting to qualify for the 2018 Winter Olympics as part of the national German curling team.

Ryan Sherrard Feature ImageFor Ryan Sherrard the decision to come to Mount Allison was an easy one. He wanted to attend a university with a great reputation and atmosphere and be close to his hometown of Quispamsis, NB, so he could travel home on weekends to train with his curling team.

Sherrard began curling in 1998 when it became an Olympic sport. That year Canada won a gold and silver medal.

“I remember thinking ‘that could be me!’ So I joined a local junior program and got started,” says Sherrard.

His team eventually captured a silver medal at the 2003 Canada Games and a national junior title the following year. They also attended the world championships in Trois-Rivières, QC.

During his time at Mount Allison, Sherrard — an honours biochemistry graduate supervised by Dr. Doug Campbell — was involved with the Bioscience Society and was a teaching assistant for biochemistry. As an undergrad he co-authored a research paper that has since been cited by over 42 other publications. But the largest part of his spare time was devoted to curling at the Sackville Curling Club or at home in Quispamisis.

“Looking back I missed out on much of the ‘university life’ due to my curling commitments and I think that was the driving factor for me to take a break and travel around Europe,” says Sherrard. “It was my way of de-stressing and making up for all the lost time.”

Sherrard headed to Germany following graduation with the plan of travelling around Europe for three months. Nine years later, he still lives in Germany and is completing his PhD in cell biology at LMU Munich with plans to return to Canada to pursue a career in the biotech industry.

After taking a five-year break from competitive curling, the sport came back into his life in a prominent way. In 2016, Sherrard met the German curling team at the 2016 World Men’s Championships in Switzerland. A few months later, he got a call from the German national coach asking him to replace one of their injured players. He left for Sapporo, Japan six weeks later.

“I got my parents to FedEx my gear to my home in Munich and I started training at the nearest club, which is two hours away in the town of Füssen.”

Since then he has travelled and competed against the top teams in the sport. Most recently he and his team competed in the World Championships in Edmonton, AB.

“It was surreal! I never thought I would get to compete at another World Championship and the chance to play on ‘home ice' in Canada was amazing. The whole experience was a stepping stone towards our goal of qualifying for the 2018 Olympics. The fact that I can even say that is unbelievable to me,” says Sherrard.

Sherrard and his team have a full schedule of tournaments coming up and they will compete in a last-chance qualifier event for the 2018 Olympics at the end of the year. He will also be completing his doctoral thesis this year.

“After this season, my plan is to return to Canada and find a competitive team,” he says. "I still have one thing on my bucket list to accomplish and that’s playing in the Brier.”