MEET ANNEKA ASPAAS !
Tell us about yourself!
I was born in the U.S. in Maryland. I started playing hockey there at age four. Then at age eight I moved to Saskatchewan, Canada, where I currently live. I am 12 years old and in grade seven. I love all kinds of sports. I also play soccer, volleyball, basketball, badminton, cross country and track. I enjoy drawing in my free time. My favorite NHL hockey team is the Washington Capitals, as I grew up watching them play in Washington, DC. My favorite female hockey team (besides my own!) is Team USA.
Up until this year, I mostly played boys /co-ed hockey and defense. This year I tried out for a boys /co-ed team, which I did not make it. So I got the opportunity to play up a level on a girls’ U15 team, and I am loving every second of it! Even though we are not playing games right now due to the pandemic, we got in 6 games and my team went undefeated. I got the opportunity to play full time center this year as well. I love all of the action being a center brings!
What made you want to be a WHL Brand Ambassador?
I am very passionate about growing women’s hockey in our area and around the world. I think that girls should get way more opportunities than we do, in hockey and in life. In my area of Saskatchewan in particular, I will eventually have to leave my town in order to play a higher level of female hockey. It would be awesome to see many more girls signing up for hockey and loving this amazing sport as much as I do!
What are you most looking forward to as a #WHLAMBASSADOR?
I am looking forward to inspiring girls to have the confidence in hockey and in life that they deserve. I also want to remind girls that we can do anything that boys can do. I am very much looking forward to connecting with other ambassadors either online or in person. We are stronger together!
What’s something not a lot of people know about you?
My second favorite sport after hockey is soccer. I love it almost as much as hockey. I can be quite silly once you get to know me, and I love to laugh and make people laugh. I also really enjoy wakeboarding at the lake. I just started last summer and I already learned a few tricks. Another cool fact is that I am a proud duel citizen of USA and Canada! My dream is to play the highest level of hockey possible!
If you could sit down and have dinner with one female hockey player, who would it be and why?
I can’t just pick one because they are twins and are equally amazing! I would most certainly pick Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux from team USA. They are wonderful human beings and do so much for female hockey. They are my idols, and they are excellent role models for anyone!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given in hockey or in life?
I have been raised to believe that a strong character is the most important quality in hockey and in life. My Dad also tells me to have fun and skate hard before each and every game! One of my favorite former coaches (Coach Rawlick) always reminded us before every game that the one thing you could control was how hard you worked.
What’s your dream for women’s hockey?
That every girl who wants to, gains the confidence to do anything they want to achieve their goals in hockey and in life. I also want to see more coverage for female hockey on tv and online. Equality between girls and boys in hockey and in life is very important to me as well.
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