Last chance


Gina Campbell wants to leave the women’s hockey team on a high note

Taryn Riemer

Fifth-year Cougars women’s hockey forward Gina Campbell grew up in a family where hockey was top priority.

“You live, dream and [breathe] hockey. Everything is all about hockey in our house.” If you come from a hockey family, you know exactly what she is talking about.    

“Each conversation at the dinner table was hockey related,” she said. “Each Christmas was hockey related.”

This may be the typical life of a hockey family in Saskatchewan, but it has all paid off for Campbell.

After five years of hard work at the U of R, she has realized her dream of becoming a teacher, and enjoyed the privilege of playing university hockey all the while. It has been a rewarding experience, but also a hectic one.

 “One of the first things I learned was how to live a balanced lifestyle with school and playing a sport,” she said.

Although things were always busy for Campbell, she says that her family was always there for her.

 “You could always lean on them to talk to,” she said. “The support was amazing through those years and we were all able to relate to each other.”      

Even though there may have been a bit of rivalry between Gina and her sister, Jessica, who plays hockey at Cornell University, she says that they were always supportive of each other.

And although she isn’t able to make it to her sibling’s games, she has caught a few of her brother, Dion’s, National Championship hockey games for the University of New Brunswick.

While reflecting on past memories, Campbell struggled to think of a favourite.

“I think this year we’ve got a good enough squad that can get us (to the national championships).” – Gina Campbell

“Being with my fifth year girls, big wins on Saturday night games, pre-game games we always play, [and] the relationships that I’ve built over the past years,” said Campbell, who also admits that road trips will be something she will never forget.

When asked what this year has in store for the Cougars, Campbell had two simple words: “National Championship.”

Campbell feels good this year about the team, and with their record of 12-4-0 so far this season, they are in good shape to reach that goal.

“I think this year we’ve got a good enough squad that can get us there,” she said.

Looking into the future, Campbell hopes to have a job teaching next year.

“I’d like to do some teaching overseas and get some experience that way…[in] New Zealand or Australia,” she said.

Along with teaching, Campbell also has hopes to continue with hockey in the coming years, but in a different role than she’s used to.

“Coaching is definitely an option for me sometime down the line,” she said.

However, in the near future, she plans to take some time for herself and do something she hasn’t gotten the chance to do with her strict hockey and school schedule.

“We play hockey every year at Christmas with our family,” said Campbell, who also said that she can’t see herself playing hockey competitively anymore after this year.

However, hockey has always been in Campbell’s life and in the future it will most likely still be a big part of her life, she will always have the opportunity to coach young players down the road and teach them some of the lessons she learned over the years.

The next chance to see Campbell and the rest of the Cougars women’s hockey team in action will be Jan. 4-5 in Lethbridge.

Photo by Micah del Rosario

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