Some call it a hobby, but Brianne Veale calls it a lifestyle.
This upcoming August, Veale will be hosting her 2nd annual Girls Summer Hockey Academy. The camp will run from July 28th to Aug. 1 and will consist of beginner, intermediate and elite divisions.
As a former Wildcat player, Veale has always had a passion for the game. “My love for the game started when I was 3-years-old, learning to skate on the outdoor rink like most Northern Ontario hockey fanatics. I spent countless hours with friends on the rink at the end of my street and could not wait to finally start playing in a league,” said Veale. She took part in a boys’ hockey league at the Peewee Arena until Grade 5. She then went on to join the Sault Female Hockey Association (SFHA) with the Wildcat rep team. Veale remained in the Wildcat program until graduation and decided her love for the sport was not something she was ready to leave behind.
“I accepted my offer to Brock University for the Concurrent Education program and became a Brock Badger Varsity Athlete,” said Veale.
Veale played 5 years as a CIS athlete, during three of those years she held the role of an assistant captain.
“Throughout my years, I was fortunate enough to be the Camp Coordinator for the Niagara Region Female Hockey School, a power skating instructor for both new and advanced skaters, as well as an international ambassador for Brock Athletics and female hockey. I travelled to Karlstad Sweden two summers ago to instruct a hockey school with the head coach at Brock. During my time at Brock, I was also the Vice President of the athletic council, a marketing co-ordinator for the athletic department, and a leader for disadvantaged and disabled youth programming,” said Veale.
Organizing a hockey academy at home is close to Veale’s heart. “Growing up in Sault Ste. Marie was an amazing experience, especially when the sport you love is around you all the time,” said Veale. However, one thing she remembers is always travelling to Southern Ont. every summer for female hockey camps in order to continue growing as a player. After instructing at hockey schools in Southern Ontario and overseas, Veale realized how passionate she was, not only on a personal level with the sport, but how much she also wanted to help others grow in hockey like many people helped her grow.
Veale began the camp last summer and had a successful first year. “Like anything, the first year is a mixture of successes and areas to work on. I heard nothing, but compliments and I am excited to see most, if not all participants from last year already registered for the camp in July,” said says Veale.
She hopes to return back to the Sault each summer to run this camp for young aspiring female hockey players. “My goal is to continue developing female hockey in Sault Ste. Marie. This sport has given me everything and more. Now that I have graduated after 17 years of competitive hockey, accomplishing my dreams by competing at the CIS level, my passion is still with the sport, but now as an instructor and motivator. I want these young players to understand that their dreams can be accomplished with dedication and strong work ethic,” says Veale.
Veale has received a job with Brock University as a student recruitment liaison officer. Her seasonal position ends in December and she will begin a postgraduate program at George Brown College for sports marketing and event coordinating.
So far, there are 20 players registered for the camp. Veale encourages people to register as the camp is constructed of fundamental skills, technique flow drills and conditioning. For registration and more information, call (289)-969-3547 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Memo: Kelsey Burton is a university student working at The Sault Star For The Summer