THUNDER BAY – Same Day Kendra Fort she was told the truth about the Easter Bunny, she was also told that she would never make the National Hockey League – because she was a girl.
It was a double whammy, but she didn’t let the devastating news put her down.
This persistence paid off.
On July 29, the 18-year-old from Thunder Bay joined 22 other so-called Next generation Hockey players born in 2003 to participate in the eight-day summer development camp for the National Women’s Under-18 Team at Calgary Olympic Park.
This is a recovery for the athletes, who last summer were only able to participate in a virtual under-18 camp, an opportunity to gain national level experience, to familiarize themselves with the way of Equip Canada and prepare for the season ahead.
Fort, whose older brother Zach played parts of two seasons with the Gatineau Olympics of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and will compete for the Senior International Junior Hockey League Kam River Fighting Walleye this season said it was a dream come true to be invited to Calgary.
“The most important thing is to be able to play with the best girls in the country my age. I think this is a good enough opportunity to prepare for Bemidji and this is one of my main goals, ”said Fort, who plans to attend Bemidji State University in the fall after spending last season with the Etobicoke Dolphins of the Provincial Women’s Hockey League.
“It’s a great honor to be a part of this team after not playing for a year and a half and it definitely motivates me more to work hard to play in college during my four years.
It’s also a chance to be seen and maybe start on the Olympic path like Katie of Thunder Bay. Weatherston and Haley Irwin, who together have won medals at the last four Games, including three gold.
“It’s the most important thing for us. My next step would be to play for Bemidji State and hopefully stand out for the U-22 roster, which is the next step for the Olympics. It was kind of my dream since I was little. Fort noted.
“My dad and I have always talked about a springboard. This is just another important step. I will climb the mountain and do it the right way. It’s been going well so far, I guess.
Fort, who plays defense, thanked her family, coach, coaches and the Thunder Bay Queens organization for helping her get to where she is today.
Her older brother had a huge influence on her career, she added.
“I think growing up I didn’t have a lot of female role models. Haley Irwin was obviously one of the tallest for me, for a woman, but my brother was definitely one of my biggest role models, simply because I grew up around him. I am his friend and I have been training with him since I was 11 years old with my trainer Brady Fox ”, Fort noted.
The camp will take place from July 29 to August 5 and will pit the Next generation team against a pair of under-18 teams also participating.