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Stephenville's Gia Caul willing to give back to a sport that helped her develop as a hockey player

Caul
Caul - Contributed

Gia Caul skates effortlessly up the ice in full stride at a quick pace.

She carves up the ice, weaving in and out of traffic, trying to bury a goal for her team or be the playmaker on a nice setup on a goal by one of her teammates.

Caul, the 15-year-old Stephenville native, is a forward with the Newfoundland and Labrador U16 female hockey team representing the province at the annual Atlantic Challenge Cup hockey tournament in Moncton over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Before Caul donned the hockey equipment and started creating nightmares for opposing goalies, she was graceful as a budding figure skater with the Stephenville Figure Skating Club.

The shifty forward, also a member of Western Warriors AAA midget hockey team in provincial play who also plays for Stephenville’s Under-20 female team, admits hockey is her No. 1 thing to do outside the confines of her Level 1 studies at Stephenville High.

However, it’s interesting that Caul was a figure skater before playing hockey and she has never forgotten the positive impact those years.

She shows her appreciation for the figure skating club by volunteering as a coach for the CanSkate program for one hour every Tuesday and Thursday at the Stephenville Dome.

“I just feel like I should just give back to them since they taught me so much, and the younger ones need someone to look up to, to actually know what they’re doing, so they can learn too,” Caul said of her desire to give back to a sport that was good to her when she was involved.

She was doing spins and twists as early as four years old, but she eventually gave up the competitive side of the sport after she became involved with hockey after her mom insisted she give it a shot.

“I feel like figure skating taught me most of my skating skills. That’s how I get around fast, just knowing my edges and everything,” she said.

There were a number of years where she competed in both at the same time and still managed to keep on top of things on the academic side of things, but she decided to find the time to help young skaters and still manage a busy hockey schedule six months of the year because it was important to her.

“It’s mostly fun … I enjoy just being around three-year-olds who make you laugh the whole time,” she said.

Caul is looking forward to suiting up for her province for the first time. She is proud to wear the crest and as long as she plays the way she can she won’t be worrying about what the scoreboard says at the final buzzer.

Caul is all business when she’s on the ice. She loves to compete and takes it pretty seriously.

But, she also has a sense of humour and is known for being somewhat of a prankster who is always trying to get the upper hand on a teammate for a good laugh. She also spends some time looking over her shoulder for a teammate looking to get even after being one of her victims so it’s something that lightens the mood around the team.

“My friends would say I like to pick on them,” she said.

It’s a safe bet her friends would say they are just fine with her being a fun person to be around.

A sense of humour, a willingness to give back to a sport that was good to her and a knack for creating good things with a puck on her stick.

It’s no wonder she’s all smiles when somebody brings up the subject of playing hockey.

An exciting weekend in the spotlight awaits her. She’s just going to have fun and play the game the way she was taught to play it.

“I always try to do my best and be better every day,” she said.

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