Abby Webster

Broncos' Webster brings balance to Northwest Territories

Abby WebsterOLDS, Alta. - Representing your home province or territory on a national stage is always a thrill. For Abby Webster of the Olds College Broncos women’s hockey team, it takes on additional significance. Webster is set to represent the Northwest Territories in women’s hockey in the second week of the Canada Winter Games in Red Deer.

“It’s a really big deal,” said Webster, who also competed in the 2015 Canada Winter Games in Prince George, B.C. “I think this time, being one of the oldest on the team, I’m really going to have that role model role, and younger girls will look up to me, so I’m excited for that.”

The second time around has been a much different experience for the Hay River native, who has worked hard to balance her commitments to both her territory and her studies, along with being part of the Broncos.

“When I made the team, I was pretty excited, and I started to think about how I was going to balance everything,” she said. “I did my best to make it all work out, and I’m happy that it did. I’m really excited for the experience.”

There has been a lot of travel involved for the 18-year-old as she tried to balance her commitments. Following a recent trip to Edmonton to play the NAIT Ooks, Webster stayed behind before flying to Yellowknife the next morning, returning in time for the Broncos’ final regular season home game against the Macewan University Griffins last Thursday. Scheduling conflicts came up at other times of the year as well, including with exams before the Christmas break, but Webster was happy to make it work.

“It hasn’t sunk in that it’s happening yet,” she confessed. “I don’t know if I’ll feel that until I get there, but it just feels like it’s been this long process.”

Webster is not the only Olds College women’s hockey team member participating in the Games, as assistant coach Kendall Newell is the manager for the Alberta women’s team. Webster is keen to build upon her experience from the 2015 Canada Winter Games.

“I was very nervous, and I wasn’t used to all the people watching,” she said of competing in Prince George. “I think this time, having that in my back pocket and knowing what to expect this time, I’ll be a little more comfortable in the environment there, and I can use that to my advantage.”

With a much different team than the one she played on in 2015, Webster is looking forward to meeting new people and immersing herself in the Canada Winter Games experience once again.

“We always do pin trading at the Games, so you can get involved with other provinces,” she said. “I still have friends I keep in touch with from the 2015 Games from different places, so I like that it incorporates building relationships with different athletes from across Canada.”