Cheerios and milk were served in elementary schools across Salmon Arm, Enderby and Sicamous on Tuesday as part of the 2007 Esso Women’s Nationals. Teams from across Canada took time away from their busy days to serve breakfast to students and talk with them about hockey.
At Bastion Elementary School, 30 year-old Cheryl Pounder and 18 year-old Haley Irwin from the Mississauga Aeros (Ontario 1) handed out bowls of Cheerios and poured milk for the Grade 3 class.
During the breakfast, both Cheryl and Haley spoke about how they always wanted to be hockey players and how they began by playing with the boys in their families. Cheryl has played for the Aeros for 15 years and told the students of what it felt like to win a gold medal at the Olympics (2002 against U.S.A. in Salt Lake City and 2006 against Sweden in Torino, Italy), and how proud she was to hear the Canadian national anthem.
Both Cheryl and Haley are part of the National Women’s Team program in Toronto, which means that they are committed to training all year. They told the students how they had to set goals for themselves and were “marked” on them, how they had to be in the gym every day, giving the very best they could give of themselves.
When asked what hockey has given her, Cheryl says, “It is important to believe in yourself, to have confidence. Being part of a team helps you with that, working together.”
She encouraged the kids to “be passionate, love what you do and always give it your best.”