The University of New Brunswick is playing host to the country’s best in women’s hockey.

The 28 players named to Hockey Canada’s Olympic centralization roster are participating in a training camp at UNB’s Fredericton campus until June 12. The camp is focused on off-ice training, concentrating on fitness-testing, dry land training as well as physical and mental preparation.

“Working with high-level athletes was envisioned when the UNB’s faculty of kinesiology partnered with Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic a few years ago,” says Dr. Wayne J. Albert, dean of kinesiology at UNB. “The kinesiology research performed at UNB supports the sport science testing desired by the Canadian Sport Centre and we are so fortunate to have this opportunity and their support.”

UNB kinesiology students have a first-hand opportunity to work with the top female players in the country as a they prepare to represent Team Canada at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in South Korea. The students are using their skills to assist with testing these athletes, ensuring they are in top shape for the games. The team will also participate in boot camps and use the faculty’s physiology lab.

“Our students are able to assist with lab and field testing with some amazing athletes that will put human performance and what the human body is capable of into perspective,” says Ken Morrison, strength and conditioning coach with UNB’s Varsity Athletics. “Canada’s national women’s team also travels with some of the best sport scientists in the country which allows our students to work firsthand with some incredible practitioners.”

Canada’s centralization roster includes three goaltenders, nine defencemen, and 16 forwards. This team features 14 Olympic gold medalists from the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. It also includes 21 players who won silver at the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championship in Plymouth, Michigan.

“This opportunity is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to work with some of the best elite athletes and equipment,” says kinesiology student Amanda Marie Lee. “You can’t learn this type of experience from a textbook. Plus, growing up playing competitive women’s hockey makes working with these players extra special.”

Joining Team Canada in Fredericton is UNB alumni Lesley Reddon, who won a silver medal in the 1998 Olympics. Ms. Reddon was the first woman to play on the UNB Men’s Varsity Reds Hockey Team where she played goalie and later represented her country. She will leave behind a photo in the UNB time capsule to commemorate her time spent at UNB before competing in the 1998 Olympics and now preparing this team for 2018 Games. The time capsule will celebrate the milestone and to honour the Lady Beaverbrook Gym, home of the faculty of kinesiology since 1941 in the new kinesiology building.

Aside from training, the national team will take time to give back, empowering female athletes across the province with a training session and motivational talk. This is an opportunity for female hockey players from the novice, atom and peewee divisions to focus on basic skills development with the athletes they aspire to be one day.

Media contact: David Stonehouse

Photo: In this file photo, a lab technician with UNB’s faculty of kinesiology conducts agility, strength and balance testing on a student. UNB students are testing Canada’s top female hockey players conducting similar tests as they prepare to represent Team Canada at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in South Korea. (Joy Cummings / UNB Photo)

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