The preparation. The camps. The workouts. The testing. The games. The grind. It has all added up and pushed us to our best. The Canada Winter Games comes around every two years. Structured similarly to the Olympics, the games include 19 sports and over 150 different events. Female hockey will be one of those sports. Since it is being held in Red Deer, Alberta the U18 Team Alberta females will be the home team. The roster consists of two goalies, six defenceman, and 12 forwards. I was lucky enough to be named as one of the goaltenders.
Players from across Alberta were invited to the top 80 camp in May. In July, the roster was narrowed to the top 46 players where we were put through a five day grind of a camp. From fitness testing to team building our days were full! After that, 29 players were selected for a fall selection camp where we would play some games together. After that, we all went back to our club teams and competed for a few months waiting to see if we would be called to represent our province. On December 5 the roster was posted; Team Alberta had be named! But the true process was just beginning.
Unlike other provinces, Alberta came together as an official team for the first time just a few days before Christmas when we played two exhibition games against Bantam AAA male teams. We will meet again for team staging in January, when I suspect it may start feeling more real. Then we are off to the games in February! February 15-March 3 is when our preparation will meet execution to give us success.
Competing for our province is an honour and, no doubt, the biggest of my career so far! But individually, we are all representing so much more: our families, teams, hometowns and schools. For me, I represent Kitscoty High School, Irma, Alberta, and the Lloydminster PWM Steelers, as well as my family and friends, past or present. It is a great opportunity to play for all of these people and places and to make them proud! Conducting ourselves with respect, class and professionalism is a Team Alberta standard that we must all live up to. Ask any of the players who have had the opportunity to put on a Team Alberta jersey for the first time and they will tell you that there truly are no words to describe the feeling! It is something you dream about and work towards for so many years that it feels surreal. Now, here we are! The jerseys are fresh. The stage is set. Canada will come together in Red Deer. Team Alberta it is time: the process is over and the journey has begun! No matter our reason or who we are playing for, This is Our Moment!