CALGARY, AB -- Olympic silver medalists Jennifer Botterill and Hayley Wickenheiser will participate in the National Under-22 Women's Team NIKE elite training camp at Calgary's Father David Bauer Arena from Aug. 3-9, the CHA announced Thursday.
The seven-day camp is designed as a developmental opportunity for the players, coaches and support staff. The emphasis will be on skill development and teaching systems to the players, said head coach Melody Davidson. As well, the coaching staff -- Davidson and assistants Julie Healy and Wally Kozak -- will evaluate the players' performance.
All the players will receive NIKE skates, gloves and sticks and will undergo off-ice fitness testing, as well as educational seminars on training and nutrition. A seminar on media relations also will be given.
The team - two goaltenders, eight defenders and 12 forwards - includes players from eight provinces, reflecting the growing depth in the female game across the country. Six of the players come from Saskatchewan, four from Ontario and three apiece from Quebec and Manitoba. New Brunswick and British Columbia each are sending two players to the Under-22 team, while Nova Scotia and Alberta are supplying one player each.
Botterill and Wickenheiser and three other players -- Dana Antal, Carol Scheibel and Tammy Lee Shewchuk -- all were among the 28 players invited to try out for Canada's 1998 Women's Olympic team in September 1997. Antal, Scheibel and Shewchuk were released, but obviously showed considerable promise during their Olympic Women's centralization experience.
"The National Under-22 Women's Team provides developmental continuity for our high-performance female program," said Davidson. "In the past, there has been the provincial Under-18 female teams that participated in the Canada Winter Games, but there was no developmental link between those teams and the National Women's Team.
"This team will enable the players to continue to develop, and permit the CHA to deepen the talent pool for the National and Olympic Women's Teams."