Sixteen-year-old Alex Spence of Lloydminster will be playing defence on Alberta’s under 16 female hockey team in 2019.

The roster came out last week with players from across Alberta. Spence has had a long road to make the team and says it’s an honour that’s different from other hockey teams.

“This year is special as it is Canada Winter Games, which only happens every four years,” says Spence. “So that just makes the experience a little more special and makes me even more grateful that I get to participate in it.”

The Canada Winter Games is a high-level sports tournament featuring events from badminton, to boxing, to swimming, skiing, and of course, hockey. This year’s games will be hosted in Red Deer from late February to March.

Spence says her family has encouraged her to play hockey since she could skate. Now that she’s officially on the team Spence says her parent’s support has turned into excitement.

“They’re just super pumped for the experience. They kept a level head the entire time, just in case I didn’t make it, to try and be the support system. Now that it’s official I’m on the roster, they’re definitely super excited to come watch.”

While Spence looks forward to the challenge in February, she’s also looking ahead to her hockey career after high school. She’s looking towards potential scholarships and wants to play when she’s in university.

“I hope that through hockey I can get a scholarship and pursue a career, and hopefully get the university experience for the next four or five years,” says Spence. “I’m kind of looking into something in the medical field, mainly nursing.”

Spence will continue playing and practicing with her hockey club, until the Canada Winter Games in February.