Jenna Diamond will be spending her 14th birthday playing hockey against some of the finest young female hockey players across Canada.
The St. Anthony native was one of two bantam female hockey players from Newfoundland and Labrador selected to attend the 2019 Global Girls Game in Calgary, Alberta Feb. 16.
The event is hosted by Hockey Canada in collaboration with Hockey Alberta and the International Ice Hockey Federation.
Per Hockey NL, the IIHF Global Girls Game “is an initiative that unites all federations from around the globe in celebration of the female hockey game.”
Diamond, along with Julia Everson of Torbay, will join players from across the country for the weekend festivities.
They will visit the Canada Sports Hall of Fame, tour Olympic Park and the Hall of Champions, listen to guest speakers and participate in the Global Girls Game – which will feature two Canadian teams – representing Hockey NL and Canada.
Diamond, a forward for the St. Anthony Polars Under-15 female team with the St. Anthony Minor Hockey Association, is excited for the event — which just so happened to land on her birthday.
“I’m excited to meet all the other girls, because they’re going to be there from all over Canada,” she told The Northern Pen. “That’s something I really enjoy, meeting new people.”
While she’s a dedicated, competitive hockey player, it’s the bonding with teammates that matters most to Diamond.
Her mother, Krista, says friendships comes first for Jenna – for instance, her best friend, Hailey Blake, drew her into hockey and she’s made a number of friends now because of the sport.
“She’s a strong player on the ice but she’s a stronger friend off the ice,” Krista told The Northern Pen. “Her favourite pictures are always the things that she’s done with friends, it’s never anything she’s accomplished.”
Players were selected through an application process where they submitted a 250-word essay explaining why they were deserving to represent Hockey NL.
In her essay, Diamond talks about the challenges of playing female hockey in a small community like St. Anthony on the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula. She and her teammates frequently have to travel long distances across the island to play in tournaments in bigger centres.
Diamond also discusses her extracurricular activities, which include being an active member of the 774 Air Cadet Squadron.
Diamond’s mother says her daughter possesses a strong work ethic and approaches things with a positive attitude.
“It’s going to be something new, I’ve never done anything like this before,” Jenna said about the Global Game. “I’m really looking forward to it.”