Erika Kiviaho represents Canada at World Ringette Championships
The annual World Ringette Championships take place this winter and Wilfrid Laurier University is going to be well represented, as former Golden Hawk, Erika Kiviaho, has been named to the Team Canada squad.
The women’s hockey alumna spoke about her achievement in a recent interview.
“It’s definitely a big accomplishment for me, making the national team at this scale. Even though I have been making teams throughout my life, when you get to this level, it’s a special feeling,” she said.
Kiviaho saw tremendous success during her time at Laurier, as the Hawks were able to reach the playoffs every year during her career, including being crowned OUA champions in 2014.
That type of consistency is very hard to come by and although hockey is a team sport, Kiviaho was a major part of those Golden Hawk teams.
Kiviaho credited the people around her when asked about what worked for her off the ice.
“I have always gotten a lot of support from family and friends. I think that’s always been the biggest key for my individual success and because of them I have always been able to push myself to get better every day. I’ve also been very fortunate to be on great teams with amazing teammates and coaching staffs that have helped me become a better player,” she said.
In addition to her accomplishments at Laurier, Kiviaho has also won a gold medal in ringette for Team Ontario in the 2011 winter games.
The Whitefish native also played ringette with the Richmond Hill Lightning while she was studying psychology and playing hockey at Laurier. During her time with the Lightning, Kiviaho added to her accolades with a silver medal victory at the National Ringette League.
Kiviaho pointed out the fact that although the two sports seem very similar, there is a bigger contrast than one can notice.
“Both sports are played on ice, but the difference in rules actually makes them more different than you would think. Balancing hockey and ringette was tough, but looking back on it, I think doing both was well worth it.”
It’s easy to see why Kiviaho was named to the Team Canada squad, as it takes a great amount of commitment and hard work to play two sports at a competitive level, all while studying for an undergraduate degree.
Transitioning from playing on a provincial level to playing for Team Canada is not an easy task for anyone. But Kiviaho has proven that she has the work ethic to be successful, even on a bigger stage.
“I think being nervous is natural, especially at this level. I’ve played in important games in the past, but obviously this is bigger than anything I’ve been a part of,” she said.
“It’s definitely going to be difficult, but I think just practicing as much as possible and getting my mindset ready before the championships will help me deal with the nerves.”