Hockey players Chanreet and Myah have both won themselves a spot on Team BC
"Making it to Team BC was a goal I had set for myself a couple years ago. When I first heard [that] I got selected to play Team BC I was really excited and felt honoured for the opportunity to represent my province.” - Chanreet Bassi
Chanreet Bassi was recently named to the 2017 Female Under-18 Team BC that competed at the 2017 National Women’s Under-18 Championship in Quebec City from November 1 to 5. The South Delta Secondary School student plays for the female Prep Division of the Delta Hockey Academy.
Sharing her interest in the sport, Chanreet states that her love for hockey started when she was five years old. “At first I didn’t like hockey but I got interested in the sport when my brother started playing, so I decided to join and I’ve loved it ever since,” says the 16-year-old, who credits her brother for her success and growth in the sport. “My inspiration in the sport is probably my brother. I have always looked up to him. He’s a year older than me so we are close in age and have played with each other in the past on the same team,” she says.
Chanreet believes that her selection to Team BC is just the beginning of her journey in the sport. “Making it to Team BC was a goal I had set for myself a couple years ago. When I first heard [that] I got selected to play Team BC I was really excited and felt honoured for the opportunity to represent my province,” shares the Penticton-born.
This excitement is also shared by Team BC’s coach, Sylvain Leone, who has seen Chanreet play for the past four years. “She is a highly skilled player, very driven. She’s very level headed; doesn’t get too excited about the highs and doesn’t get too down about the lows,” says coach Leone about the young player.
Chanreet is hopeful about her future as a female athlete. She feels that in today’s world, women in sports are doing a lot better than their predecessors. “Honestly, I don’t think women face that many challenges in the sport today because there are so many teams and girls playing,” she remarks while adding, that “one major challenge is that women don’t get paid as much at the higher level in comparison to men.”
As she starts a new chapter in her life, Chanreet wants to make use of all the opportunities that she has at hand and is focusing on making a name for herself in the game. She hopes to play National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I (NCAA DI) hockey some day. Besides ice hockey, she also has her eyes set on pursuing an engineering or business degree in college.
"I just love the game and I always seem to enjoy myself each time I step on the ice and that’s really the only thing that I make sure to focus on.” - Myah Bowal
“There are no words to describe the feeling. I worked so hard to achieve this goal of being able to throw on that jersey and the fact that I got to represent my province was such an honour!” says Myah Bowal, describing the moment when she realized she would be representing Team BC in the National Women’s Under-18 Ice Hockey Championship.
The 17-year-old has been playing hockey since the age of six. She started out by playing Ringette, which she enjoyed, but since all her friends were playing hockey she decided to try the sport too. “It was actually my neighbours who got me interested in hockey,” she states, “My best friend and neighbour, who was my age, had two older twin brothers who would always be playing road hockey outside my house and I’d just stare out the window and watch. Eventually they invited me to play and I just fell in love with the game right there.”
Myah, who is currently living in Toronto, Ontaria, plays for the Toronto-Leaside Junior Wildcats of the Provincial Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) and attends Leaside High School. Sharing her passion for the sport, she says, “I just love the game and I always seem to enjoy myself each time I step on the ice and that’s really the only thing that I make sure to focus on.”
The talented player credits her family for all the success she has achieved so far. “If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be the person I am today nor would I be where I am today. They always have my back no matter what, and I know I always have them to lean on through any situation,” shares Myah who also gets lots of encouragement from extended family and family friends. “They have supported me over the years to play elite hockey and have also travelled to some big games to cheer for me. This past November at nationals in Quebec City, we had seven of them travel with my family. This made it extra special for me,” she adds.
Being a female athlete, she believes that one major challenge that women in sport face is the lack of opportunity to play at a professional level where you can be compensated for your efforts. “There are hundreds of women that are as talented and have put in the same hard work as men but they are not given an opportunity like the NHL. Many have tried in the past to fix the inequality with little success but something has to be developed to allow ladies the same opportunities,” she asserts.
Myah has her eyes set on playing varsity hockey at the University of New Brunswick. They are reinstating a team for the 2018-19 year and will compete at Atlantic University Sport and U Sports Canada level. Academically, she plans to major in chemical engineering.
Photos: Freeze Frame Photography/BC Hockey