It’s a once in a lifetime experience.
Adam Heindel, 12, is one of the lucky Lacombians who have been chosen to participate in this year’s Alberta Winter Games as part of the Zone 4 Pee Wee Hockey Team.
Heindel said he first heard about the opportunity to try out for the games from his parents who had received notification through an email sent to the team.
He immediately decided he wanted to try out and that playing in the Alberta games would be an amazing experience.
“I thought it would be a good opportunity to play with some good players,” he said.
At the tryouts for the Alberta Winter Games, Heindel was a little nervous at first but soon found his footing, he said.
“At the start it was pretty nerve-wracking. But after the first day of tryouts, you got used to the people on the ice that are with you.”
Heindel wasn’t the only one sweating during the tryouts. His mother, Erin, was also feeling a bit tense as she watched her son on the ice. Erin said one of the things she found unnerving was the large section of the stands for the evaluators that was blocked off to all other spectators.
She said she watched the evaluators closely examining the players during all the skills competitions and games during the tryouts, but was not allowed to speak to them. “You couldn’t even go over there as a parent,” said Erin.
Adam said he was walking out the door to his home (coincidently, on his way to hockey practice) when his mother got the call that he had made the team.
He added he was pretty excited when he heard the phone ring and hurriedly called for his mother to answer.
After accepting his spot on the team, Adam felt accomplished, he said.
“I remember feeling really happy and proud of myself.”
Having heard from others how great of an experience playing in the Alberta Winter Games can be, Adam said he is looking forward to participating in this year’s games. He said that even being apart from his family, who will have little contact with him during the event other than as spectators at the hockey games, has not diminished his excitement.
Instead of being with his family in between matches at the games, Adam will be with his team.
He will eat with his team, spend nights with his team, play with his team and then start the cycle again. Adam said he believes this time together will actually strengthen the cohesiveness of the team.
“I think it will be a good opportunity to bond and get to know each other.”
That time to bond will likely be a good thing, as the teammates have little time to get to know each other before they start playing. However, Heindel said he is confident the team will be able gel together fairly quickly.
“I think after the first game, our team is going to figure out our strengths and weaknesses and we will be able to play better. And hopefully, we will do great.”