Goose Bay girl has chance to play in the under-18 national hockey tournament
© Submitted photo
Amy Curlew posing, while playing hockey in Oakville, Ontario
In the world of sports, sometimes age and experience isn’t as important as hard work and skill. Amy Curlew, for example, is just 15 years old, but that didn’t stop the young, talented, hockey player from Happy Valley-Goose Bay from being invited to this summer’s evaluation camp for team Atlantic’s under-18 squad.
“I’m extremely nervous, but it’s a good nervous,” said Amy about being invited to the camp, as a forward. “I’m excited to go out and see if I can compete with all these girls.”
The tryouts are happening as we speak. They began on July 14 and will wrap up on July 18. If Amy makes the Atlantic team, she will compete in the National U-18 tournament, which will take place during November in Calgary.
Amy began playing hockey when she was six years old. It soon became very clear that she could play at a higher level. Her great skills offensively, and her overall hockey skills, allowed her to travel to hockey camps and tournaments across the continent.
Like all kids who are able to play hockey at a high level, Amy has parents who are there to support her through the high-paced journey. After all the time and resources put into Amy’s hockey career, Tony Curlew, Amy’s father, was excited to hear about the team Atlantic tryouts.
“I was happy for her; very, very excited,” says Tony.”This is part of a national program and...She just turned 15, so she’s one of the younger girls ever to even make the tryout camp at this age.”
But this isn’t the first time Amy has a chance to make a high-level team as one of its youngest members. According to Tony, Amy played for the province’s under-16 squad when she was just 12 years old.
“She was a 12 year old, playing with 15 year olds,” says Tony, who adds that Amy has made the provincial team three times in total.
Amy has spent her grade nine year at Appleby College in Oakville, Ontario, which has a renowned hockey program. The big move to Oakville from Goose Bay wasn’t an easy decision for Amy or her father.
“It was hard, knowing what you had to leave behind,” says Amy. “You’re usually not ready to go by that age.”
“It tore me apart,” says Tony. “It was hard sending a girl from such a small town to (just outside) Toronto.”
When she’s not playing for the Appleby team, she’s playing in a league outside of school, as well. All this makes for a very busy schedule. During the school year she is training every weekday, on top of playing games and doing her homework.
“I’ll be tired, but you don’t really notice it when you’re playing,” says Amy. “You got to get enough sleep and you have to be on a strict regiment with time management and everything. You have to go sleep at a certain time every night, you’ve got to get up at a certain time, and you’re meals have to be so nutritious...”
Despite her demanding schedule, which revolves mainly around hockey, Amy has been able to keep a healthy, teenage, social life in Oakville.
“I’ve met a lot of new people this year, within hockey and within my school. It was really good moving to another school. I thought it would be hard but it was really good.”
Amy is not taking a summer break before the big evaluation camp later this month. She is currently in PEI, keeping herself in game shape for the tryout.
“I’ll go work out or whatever, then I’ll go for a run on the track. And there’s also a place where I can shoot pucks, and I’m on the ice as well.”
Amy knows she will be going up against some older girls in camp. But Amy feels that, if she does the little things right, she has a shot at making the Atlantic team.
“If I try really hard, and do the normal stuff, like back-check and finish my plays, then I should have a good chance.”