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Article from Team Alberta gets gold in first ever championships

Team Alberta was victorious in the first ever Canadian Sledge Hockey Championships, hosted in the City of Leduc last weekend.

The provincial team went undefeated in all its round robin games, beating Quebec, B.C. and Ontario, against whom they faced off in the fight for gold.

Head coach Steve Arsenault credits his players for handling the pressure well and their high level of performance.

"When we started this journey in October I think it was a shock because we went from not having a high performance program for sledge hockey in this province to demanding one right off the bat. There was a little bit of a change that had to be addressed and they did everything we asked. They played exceptionally well. I couldn't ask for a better result," he said.

"We trained and developed our players as best as we could as a staff. At the end of the day they came to play and I think that showed."

The age range of the players was quite vast ranging from 15 to 34, though Arsenault said it was advantageous to have older players guide the younger ones. There were also two females, Alanna Mah and Geneva Coulter, who held their own in the male-dominated tournament.

"It shows how well they stand up to their counterparts and play just as competitively as men. They can play the full contact and take hits. As long as they're training and understand not to shy away from it they can be unbelievable," said Arsenault. "I'm happy with the way they played and I have no hesitation ever as a coach to have females play on my team."

Apart from coaching, Arsenault plays sledge hockey himself for Team Canada.

Having the experience as a player did help when he was on the bench.

"As soon as that puck drops I have limited control other than bench management. The game's not on my stick. I think my hockey experience and still being an avid player helped. I understand even more now the struggles that coaches have but I also understand the players' perspective, what they're going through, if they're having a bad game how to motivate them," he said.

Now the off-season starts on a happy note and Arsenault hopes it will help the program develop even more.

The players will continue to play with their own clubs, but meet every month for training camp with their provincial teammates.

We, at the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, are deeply saddened to hear of those who have been affected by the fires in Northern Alberta. Family is very important to us and we would like to support our Albertan families.

For the month of May, we are offering free admission to displaced residents from the Fort McMurray fires (‪#‎YMMfire)‬ with valid I.D. that has a Fort McMurray address so that they may spend quality fun time with their families.

Additionally, 100% of the funds received from admissions on Monday, May 23rd will be donated to the Red Cross to assist those affected by these wildfires.

We encourage all of our Honoured Members, fellow Museum, and Albertans to help in any way they can.

Families and friends are the heart of Alberta. We can help.
‪#‎AlbertaStrong‬ #AlbertaFamily
Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum
North of 32 Street overpass on HWY 2
Red Deer, AB

Open 7 days a week!

Monday - Friday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday & Sunday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Monday, May 23, 2016: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm


Article: Huynh Pins Heart on her Sleeve

The entirety of all that Carol Huynh has ever accomplished in her life made her an ideal choice for the role of Assistant Chef de Mission for Team Canada at the upcoming 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio. That the two-time Olympic medalist in wrestling, and CSI Calgary Next Generation coach, was handpicked for the job astonished Huynh, "I was surprised, bigtime surprised! I heard through the grapevine last fall that it might happen, but when the call came in October I was still surprised. It boggles my mind that they chose me."

If you look closely at Huynh's long career in sport, first as an athlete, then advocate, coach and now mentor, it should come as no surprise that she was chosen to serve as Assistant Chef. But it's not medals and accolades that make Huyhn, a former CSI Calgary athlete, the right person for the job, it's her spirit and knowledge, and the desire to share it with the athletes – all of them. "I'm not there just to support the medalists," she says. "I see myself being there as much for the athletes that didn't quite do as well as they hoped."

Brimming with infectious enthusiasm, Huynh relishes the opportunity to fulfill her role as team spokesperson, leader, mentor and cheerleader. "It's a great opportunity for me to be on Team Canada in a totally different way. I can bring my different experiences to the table. In Beijing I came in as an underdog and left as an Olympic champion, and in London I came in as the favourite and with that extra pressure I had a lower result than I had hoped for."

The same attributes that made her so successful as an athlete now influence the way she coaches. Endless dissection of every move, every thought and comment. When her athletes are less successful than she had hoped, there is thoughtful introspection about what she could have done or said differently that might have made a difference. "I'm still quick to blame myself!" she says.

But perhaps the profound experience of having to fight for the inclusion of her sport in the Olympic Games is at the heart of what she will bring with her to Rio. It came as a total shock to Huynh when, in 2013 the IOC voted wrestling out of the core sports for the Olympic Summer Games beginning in 2020. "For the first time I looked at the sport differently, beyond myself. I saw it from the grassroots level and from an international perspective, where kids all over the world dream of being an Olympian in their sport, or they just love to play a sport. It touches so many people and opens opportunities."

The vote spurred Huynh to fight the sport's ousting and she worked hard within the wrestling community to get the sport reinstated, an effort that was ultimately successful and which led to her election as the chairperson of the International Wrestling Federation's new Athletes' Commission. "I have been a part of, and witness to, a lot of great change in our sport. I feel very glad that all happened because so many things in our sport needed to be changed."

This relentless determination to fight – on the mat, for her athletes, for her sport – has galvanized an Olympic spirit in Huynh that is unwavering. When asked what keeps her so deeply entrenched in both wrestling and the Olympic movement, Huynh laughs, "I ask myself the same question!"

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary
Written by Kristina Groves: @kngrover
Photo by Dave Holland: @csicalgaryphoto

Article from Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: Paving the Way: Kelly Anne Erdman

The Canadian Sport Institute Calgary (CSI Calgary) congratulates Kelly Anne Erdman on her recent publication, an accomplishment she deems to be, "The greatest achievement of my career." Erdman has been a source of knowledge in Canadian athletes' lives for over two decades. Always up-to-date on cutting-edge research, Erdman has been a Performance Dietitian at the 2012 and 2014 Olympic Games as well as the 2011 Pan Am Games.

Erdman began working at the CSI Calgary in 1994, paving the way in the field of sports nutrition. An Olympian in track cycling, Erdman continues to be aligned with the CSI Calgary, working predominantly with the speed skating team and Hockey Canada as the lead dietitian for both the women's and sledge hockey programs and consulting with the men's team. She also consults with a variety of sports including luge, heptathlon, and nordic skiing.

For her recent publication, Erdman was hand-picked by Dietitians of Canada to be a co-author on the February 2016 position paper titled Nutrition and Athletic Performance: Position of Dietitians of Canada, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American College of Sports Medicine. The publication is an in-depth report on the role of nutrition as a critical piece of high performance sport and shares the authors' expertise by outlining evidence-based current recommendations for athletes' nutrition.

As one of three authors who spent a year and a half re-writing the paper based on current evidence, Erdman's co-authors were American D. Travis Thomas from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Australian Louise M. Burke representing the American College of Sports Medicine. As science and sport are always evolving, this is the third time the paper has been re-written to update the information. Last published in 2011, the joint position paper will go through its next re-write in 2019.

Erdman says that this re-write is more focused on the need for athlete nutrition to be customized. She believes that it is critical for athletes and their support teams to be aware of how an athlete's nutrition needs vary on a daily basis. When asked the one piece of advice that she would give to her fellow Sport Dietitians, Erdman stresses that she believes in tailoring the message, customizing it for each athlete's needs.

Ultimately, it is evident that Erdman loves what she does and is an integral component to the success of Canada's athletes. While the CSI Calgary knows that Erdman is very deserving of this recognition, she humbly emphasizes, "It was a huge honour for me to represent sport dietitians in Canada, and I would not have been given the opportunity to work on this piece of literature had I not been affiliated with a high performance institute such as the CSI Calgary."

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary
Written by Brittany Schussler: @BSchussler

Article from the Ottawa Citizen: Inferno engulfs Canadiennes to win Clarkson Cup

Calgary Inferno 8, Montreal Canadiennes 3

Leave it to Hayley Wickenheiser, a four-time Olympic gold medallist and a mother of a 16-year-old son, to sum up what it means to win the Clarkson Cup as Canadian Women’s Hockey League champions.

“I’ve pretty much won every championship except this one and just to do it with this group of players is special,” said Wickenheiser, 37, who picked up a pair of assists as her Calgary Inferno romped past the Montreal Canadiennes 8-3 at the Canadian Tire Centre Sunday to capture their first CWHL title.

“This group is interesting in the sense that we’ve got some players who are sort of pro players like myself, and other national team players, and then you’ve got other women who are working 9-to-5 jobs. They come to the rink at night for practice and they don’t get a chance to train. I was thinking about those players. We’ve got a police officer, a teacher, a lawyer and for those girls to win a championship like this, and all the tears, it means a lot to them. That’s why this league matters.”

The Inferno jumped on the Canadiennes early, making it a long and rough afternoon for Canadiennes goaltender Charline Labonte, also a four-time Olympian. Calgary led 2-1 after the first period, 5-2 after the second and was up 7-2 early in the third period.

Blayre Turnbull, Jessica Campbell, Rebecca Johnston and Brianne Jenner all scored twice for the Inferno.

The Canadiennes received goals from Olympic star Marie-Philip Poulin, Noemie Marin and Kim Deschenes, but on the occasions where they pushed to get back into the game, Inferno goaltender Delayne Brian was sharp. Brian stopped 38 of 41 shots.

“We won as a team, it wasn’t an individual effort by any means,” said Turnbull. “It feels great, something we’ve been working towards all year. Our team has been through a lot as a group. We’ve had some really high highs and some really low lows, so I think to come out here and win in front of such a good crowd was really special for us.”

The announced crowd of 4,082 (it appeared more like 3,000 were in the building) is small by NHL standards, but it is huge compared to the 300-500 who regularly show up for CWHL regular season games in Calgary, Montreal, Toronto and Brampton. The Inferno players said the atmosphere added to the championship game. Wickenheiser is hoping that with a little more promotion, a bit more media coverage and more general awareness of the game, attendance could double when the CWHL championship returns to Canadian Tire Centre next year.

“It’s always good to come to Ottawa,” she said. “We always know we’re going to get a good reception here. Just to see the turnout today, I thought it was pretty decent for relatively short notice, and we know this is a girls hockey hotbed here and in the surrounding community. This is hopefully a future place for a team.”

As for Sunday’s game, the Inferno was on fire early. Johnston opened the scoring at the 2:26 mark against Labonte, who on Friday was named CWHL goaltender of the year.

The Canadiennes tied the game on a power play, when Poulin found a loose puck at the side of the net and beat Brian with a backhand. Poulin, who scored 23 goals and 23 assists in 22 games during the regular season and scored the gold-medal winning goals for Canada at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics, was named the league’s most valuable player on Friday.

From there, though, the Inferno took over the game.

Brianne Jenner restored the Inferno’s lead before the period was out and Calgary padded the lead to 4-1 on goals from Campbell and Turnbull early in the second period.

The Canadiennes’ Marin made it 4-2, but Turnbull replied quickly to give the Inferno its commanding three-goal lead heading into the final period.

Goals from Campbell and Johnston early in the third made it 7-2. The Canadiennes attempted a late rally, receiving a goal from Deschenes. But the Canadiennes were in desperate straits, pulling Labonte for an extra skater with 5:30 remaining. Brian made a couple of big saves and Jenner capped the scoring into an empty net.

The Free Press Article: Ex-local rugby coach inducted into sports hall of fame

Neil Langevin spent his childhood in Sparwood and attended Sparwood Secondary School. There, with the help of his English teacher, Jim Vallance, he found the sport of rugby. Little did he know at the time he was finding more than just a sport – he was finding a coaching career.

“He actually saw me play basketball in Grade 10 and he told me I wasn’t so good at basketball but he had a sport he thought I would like. He was right on both counts,” Langevin said of Vallance.

After high school, Langevin went to Lethbridge for university. There he started the women’s university team and started competing against the larger universities in the area.

“We kind of started that group up and coached it for 11 years, culminating in – we had three years in a row that we won a national title and six years in a row that we won the Canada West.”

Recently, Langevin was inducted into the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame in recognition of his coaching career.

“It’s recognition of not just my efforts but the efforts of a large group. The team, we have been lucky enough to be inducted into the Hall of Fame already as a team, and as well as the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame last year.”

Langevin was with the University of Lethbridge Horns women’s rugby program since its inception in 2000. Throughout his time with the Horns, the team garnered a reputation as the country’s premier rugby program. His longest winning streak was 22 games in a row. He also took Canada’s National Women’s team to a fourth place finish at the 2006 World Cup.

Langevin says some of Vallance’s philosophies and mottos have stayed with him throughout his career.

“When I started in Grade 10, it was interesting to see Jim Vallance’s sayings used and his philosophy,” he said. “His style of play, that stayed with me forever. Lots about defence and about pressure all of the time. There is a phrase he use to say – ‘you need to turn pressure into points’.”

It seems that’s exactly what Langevin did – pressure into points, and ultimately into the Hall of Fame.