Free female hockey camp hopes to suit up more girls

Dave Kearsey
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Cousins Carly Applin, 8, left, and Kristen Randell, 7, will be playing hockey for the first time this year.

CORNER BROOK  Cousins Kristen Randell and Carly Applin watched their brothers play minor hockey for a number of years, but now it’s time for them to get a taste of what they’ve been missing.

Kristen, the daughter of Chris and Hilda Randell and sibling to 10-year-old Ryan, and cousin Carly, daughter of Serena and Chuck Applin and older brother Mark, will play female hockey for the first time Sunday at the Pepsi Centre. The two Corner Brook girls will be suiting up for a six-week free female hockey program for ages 7-11, beginning Sunday in conjunction with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Girls’ Ice Hockey Weekend.

The only introduction to the sport for either of the shy girls is watching their brothers play in the Corner Brook Minor Hockey Association system.

“I was always watching my brother and I wanted to try it out,” Carly, a former figure skater, said of her interest to give hockey a shot.

Carly is already liking the idea of being a hockey player and she hasn’t been on the ice yet, according to her mom.

“She’s been dressing up in her gear around the house ... I think because her brother is in it is a big thing,” Carly’s mom said.

Mom has been watching her boy play for a number of years so she is used to spending countless hours at the rink, but now she is looking forward to having a second child immersed in the game.

“I’m all for it. I think Ryan loved the system growing up and it seems like hockey buddies stick together so I’m excited that she wants to try it,” the proud hockey mom said.

Carly, a Grade 4 student at J. J. Curling, looks forward to improving her skating, handling the puck and meeting other girls her own age. She is also excited about doing another activity with her cousin and expects it will be fun for both of them.

However, she doesn’t appear to be interested in putting her friendship with her cousin aside when they hit the ice.

“Still the same friends,” she said.

Kristen, who is seven and attends school at C. C. Loughlin, is just as anxious as Carly to get on the ice and begin a new chapter in her young life.

“We did a lot of stuff together as friends so I think playing hockey with her will be fun,” Kristen said.

Kristen admits seeing her brother play so much had a lot to do with her deciding to give hockey a whirl, but she is very keen on what really is her biggest interest in the game.

“I want to score goals. I want to be the one to score the last goal in the game,” she said with a light chuckle.

Kristen said her brother boosted her confidence by saying she was a pretty good player. But, could there be some competitive nature showing now that both are hockey players?

Are you going to be better than him, Kristen?

“Yeah,” she said bluntly.

Organizations: International Ice Hockey Federation, Pepsi Centre, Corner Brook Minor Hockey Association Grade 4

Geographic location: Corner Brook

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