Gina Sosnowski has what it takes.
Sosnowski, a Lacombe girl who plays AA Bantam Hockey in Red Deer, has been chosen to be part of the Zone 4 Girls Bantam Alberta Winter Games hockey team.
Sosnowski said the prospect of playing in the games is an exciting one.
“I’m looking forward to the experience,” said Sosnowski. “Getting to play with the best girls in the province, I think it will be really fun.”
Sosnowski started playing hockey eight years ago. She said her parents thought hockey would be good for her and so she started playing in Clive, where she lived at the time.
“I figured that we live in Canada, and everyone has to skate,” said Sosnowski’s mother, Angela, adding that she wanted to at least give her daughter the opportunity to learn Canada’s favourite pastime.
After playing on a mixed team in Clive for four years, Gina began playing with a girls’ team in Red Deer. She has now been playing Bantam AA girls hockey with the Red Deer Bantam Chiefs for two years.
Gina said that part of the reason she tried out for the Alberta Games team was just to see if she was good enough to play in the games. She added that most of her peers and everyone on her team tried out as well.
“I thought it would be a real good experience if I was able to play,” said Gina. “It’s quite big if you make it.”
Trying out for the team was something of a nerve-wracking experience.
“I was very nervous, scared I wasn’t going to make it.”
She added that once things got underway, the tryouts were more or less the same as any other tryouts she had done and that helped to calm her down to some degree.
After the three days of tryouts, Gina had to endure the agonizing wait to learn if she had made the team or not.
She said on the night that the call letting her know if she made the cut was to come, she basically sat next to the phone all evening.
“The phone was always near me wherever I went.” She added that once the phone did ring, she got very excited.
Angela said that she too was excited when Gina made the team.
“I was hoping she was going to make it because she really wants to go, so I was happy for her,” said Angela. She added she and her family are looking forward to going to Banff to watch the games.
Gina said she already knows most of the girls that will be playing through hockey. But, while she has played with them before, playing on the same team with all of them will be an adjustment.
“Playing with a new group of girls is a bit different, you have to get to know everyone.” She added that girls have different plays, different routines and different ways of doing things that take some getting used to.
Now that she has made the team and gotten over those anxieties, Gina is looking forward to actually playing at the games.
She said that she hasn’t gotten any butterflies about the games yet, but she imagines she will at the start of the game.
“I will definitely be nervous for the first game. But once you get settled in you aren’t that nervous.”