An interview with: Jessie Callander, Goalie, Team Canada East U19s

The Cambridge Turbos are lucky enough to have a talented group of up and coming young players on the team this year. Two of these players – Jessie Callander and Syd Granger – are also playing on U19 Team Canada East, which is playing in the upcoming U19 World Ringette Championships in London, ON at the Christmas break. We sat down with goalie Jessie Callander to learn about her experience with the team.

What were your thoughts when you were selected to try out for the team?
During the selection process and tryouts my nerves were through the roof. I knew that there was a reason that I had been one of the six goalies selected to try out for the team and I was definitely up for the challenge. At this level, everyone is on an even playing field so it was really the players who stepped up and stood out that were selected. I thought I had a pretty solid tryout camp so I was confident but still nervous about my spot on the team.

How did you feel when you made this team?
When I found out I was selected as one of the three goalies on the team I was relieved and equally as excited to be given an opportunity this huge. To me, playing on this team is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I’ve been given an opportunity to represent my country in the Worlds and I’ve also made some amazing friends, on top of the ones that I already get to share the experience with. I absolutely love all of the girls and I wish I could see them more often than I do! Every day is one day closer to Worlds and I am getting more and more pumped as the days go by.

Is your team ready for the tournament in December?
Going into Worlds, I’m feeling confident about playing for a gold medal. It’s looking like Finland and Canada East teams may be the favourites and I am expecting the gold medal game to represent that. We have an amazing and talented group of girls and the team is coming along great. We just need to want it more than anyone else. If we can do that, I believe that we can leave with a gold medal around our necks for sure.

What’s it like being coached by Jackie Gaudet and Sharolyn Wouters, who have been your NRL teammates?
Being coached by Jackie and Sharolyn , with Meghan (Pittaway) as my goalie coach, is a completely different dynamic than playing with them on the Turbos. I think it’s really cool that we get to have the opportunity for both because we have a more personal relationship with them. The player-player relationship is different from the player-coach relationship but I have learned a lot from them from both perspectives. Jackie, Sharolyn, Stephanie Seguin and Meghan are all talented players and knowledgeable coaches and I couldn’t have asked for a better bench staff.

What are your ringette goals?
My goals definitely involve playing for the senior national team. Since I was exposed to ringette in my first year of novice, my ultimate goal is to play for Team Canada. The U19 team is a major stepping stone on my way there and I am prepared to work hard and do what it takes to make it, hopefully sooner rather than later. On top of that, I am looking forward to many more seasons playing for the Turbos in the NRL!