St. Albert's Anj Grewal to compete in ringette championships
By: By Nicole Starker
| Posted: Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 06:00 am
Anj Grewal was a shy kid growing up so her parents enrolled her in sports to help bring their daughter out of her shell. When her dad signed Grewal up for ringette she discovered a passion for the game.
“In the beginning I think he kind of just pushed me, but after that I had a love for the game and I’ve just loved it ever since.”
Now, that once-timid young ringette rookie is a force in the net. The goalie of St. Albert’s Zone 5 AA club has been named to Team Canada West, one of Ringette Canada’s national junior teams. Grewal will compete in the U19 world ringette championship in London, Ont., Dec. 28, 2012 to Jan. 3, 2013.
What Grewal loves most about ringette is the break that it provides from studying. “I work really hard at school but it’s just nice to have an outlet some of the time when things aren’t going right in other aspects of your life and I find that (ringette) helps me to focus even more on school,” she said. “It’s a stress relief, for sure.”
Grewal played both hockey and ringette in British Columbia, but when she and her family moved to St. Albert in 2010, a torn MCL prevented her from playing either sport. Instead, she spent her first season in Alberta in the stands watching her sister play for Zone 5 in St. Albert. After spending time with the Zone 5 team, she decided not to pursue hockey and to focus only on ringette.
“I went to her games and her practices and I talked to the people in the association and I just thought it’d be a good fit for me, so I tried out this year,” said Grewal.
Grewal played both hockey and ringette at the AA level in B.C. so she is aware of the training and dedication required to compete at that level. Her first exposure to elite play was a trip to the B.C. Winter Games at age 14 where her ringette team earned a gold medal.
This goalie doesn’t seem to shy away from a challenge. What she is looking forward to most at the U19 world championship is “the elite level of training going up to it and it being an experience that I’ll remember for the rest of my life, and potentially it being a stepping stone to bigger and better things. “
Grewal is hoping that those bigger and better things will include a spot on the senior national team one day.
For now, Grewal is focusing on Team Canada West. She said that being named to one of the junior national teams “means that all of the hard work that I’ve put into it all these years, and my parents have put into it, and all the money that they’ve put into it is paying off. I finally get an opportunity where all my friends and family can be proud of me and everything has kind of just paid off.”
The championship may be months away, but Grewal is already engaged in individual daily training. “We have workouts that we do on a schedule and everything is planned out day-by-day.”
Grewal will attend weeklong training camps in August and October and expects that she and her teammates will be challenged with a lot of ice time and a lot of fitness testing. “The selection camp was pretty strenuous, so I’m expecting no less for the training camps.”
Grewal’s training will also include a goalie camp in Canmore in August.
A dedicated student who graduated this spring from Paul Kane High School, she will begin studying science at the University of Alberta in the fall. She hopes to play for Zone 5 again next year, but knows that balancing school and sport won’t be easy.
“Starting university next year, it’s going to be really tough handling the training schedule, especially the amount of courses I have.”
This driven young goalie seems up to the challenge.