Brooker to play for Team Canada

On Oct. 24, Laura Brooker was invited back to play for Team Canada at the 2015 Winter Universiade in Granada,

Photo by Kha Vo
Photo by Kha Vo

On Oct. 24, Laura Brooker was invited back to play for Team Canada at the 2015 Winter Universiade in Granada, Spain this February.

Last December, the Wilfrid Laurier University women’s hockey captain was given the opportunity to represent Canada when she travelled to Trentino, Italy, where she captured gold.

“I’m really excited,” she said. “The culture is going to be different … it’s going to be quite a good time.”

Remembering back to when she went to Italy just one year ago, Brooker reflected on the process she took after being given the opportunity overseas to go the Universiade for the first time.

She said she got advice from Candice Styles, who went to the 2011 Winter Universiade in Turkey, in order to prepare her for the experience of playing abroad.

“Then I got asked this year, and there was no way I was going to say no because [last year] was an amazing experience, and you’re in Europe — I mean, it’s going to be sweet.”

The International University Sports Federation (FISU) introduced women’s hockey into the Winter Universiade in 2009, and out of the four tournaments hosted Brooker will have attended half of them after Grenada. She is the first Laurier student to go back to the Winter Universiade within her career as a Hawk while still attending the school and the first Laurier player to go in back-to-back years.

Andrea Ironside — who went to the Winter Universiade in 2009 and 2011 — was the last Laurier player to attend twice, though she had already graduated by the time she attended the games and was not playing on the Laurier varsity team during 2011.

For the upcoming Universiade, Brooker will be the only player from Laurier on the 2015 team. She explained her experience representing Team Canada on a national scale, as well as the feeling of representing her school to the world.

“While you are there with different girls from different teams you’re representing Canada, so it’s like you’re representing your school and Canada at the same time,” she said. “It’s so good to be wearing that jersey and it’s so good to be seen from other people around the conferences that you’re a dedicated player and they want you on their team.”

According to Brooker, she mainly goes with the flow and is not expecting too much from the experience — she is just going to let it take its course.

“It’s usually just an experience; you don’t want to overthink it, you want to just go there and live each day like you’re there and enjoy it and take in everything you can. As a student, when’s the next time you’re going to be able to travel?” she said.

“It’s just an experience that you’ll never forget.”

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