CORNER BROOK As long as she is having fun and forming new friendships, Ashley Bromley plans on being immersed in life as a multi-sport athlete.
The 15-year-old Level 1 student at Corner Brook Regional High suited up for the provincial Under-15 female volleyball team this past summer and this weekend will ply her trade as a defenceman with the Newfoundland and Labrador Under-17 female hockey team participating in the annual Atlantic Challenge Cup at the Red Ball Centre in Moncton, N. B.
Being an elite athlete with two provincial teams can make life pretty hectic for any teenager trying to settle into her first year of high school, but Bromley wouldn’t have it any other way because she enjoys the rewards that come with participation in team sports. She enjoys the ups and downs of building team chemistry, getting to hang out with her teammates and meeting players from other places.
She also knows the more active she is the healthier she will be so she has no problem spending her hockey season hitting the ice sometimes as many as six times per week.
“Just sitting home and doing nothing ...I always need to have something to do,” Bromley said.
Keeping fit as a fiddle to improve her stock has kept her on training mode on a seasonal basis and she has qualms about it. More importantly, her busy schedule hasn’t caused any problems on the scholastic side of things in her first year of high school.
“Usually just squeeze in my homework and study whenever I can,” she said of her life as a high school student juggling two sports with overlapping seasons.
This weekend will mark the second time she suited up for a provincial female hockey team, the other time being two years ago when she secured a berth on the provincial Under-15 team. It’s a safe bet she would have been given a roster spot last year, but she opted to participate in an elite volleyball tournament on the mainland instead.
She admits she is defence-first kind of girl who likes the pass the puck so she won’t build a reputation as a rushing defender anytime soon. She likes the challenge of providing protection around the cage and moving the puck to the forwards and takes an aggressive approach to the game.
“I like blocking shots and stuff,” she said.
She earned a berth on the provincial team with a solid effort at a camp in Corner Brook and Gander that were used to help the coaching staff select the roster. She had high praise for the coaching staff and she feels like she is a better player because of the exposure.
“The coaching was really good and they helped me a lot. They gave me a lot of good advice,” she the daughter of Conrad and Deidre Bromley.
She has no idea what to expect this weekend when she matches wits against the top 17-year-olds in Atlantic Canada, but she knows what she has to do to get the most out of the experience. The coaching staff also added an extra defender to the roster this year, so she expects there to be even more competition for playing time.
“Keep my attitude good so that I just don’t get on anyone’s bad side I guess,” she said with a chuckle.
Looking down the road, she is committing the next few years to her respective sports because she is having so much. She may just be rewarded for all her patience and persistence over the years.
“Obviously, I thought about maybe getting scholarships, but I’m not sure which sport,” she said. “Either or would be fine for me. I love playng both of them.”