Local hockey player Scotia Bellavance will be packing her bags for New York this September.
While many young adults would be thinking about shopping, plays, and sporting events, Bellavance will be heading to Purchase, New York with hockey on her mind.
Like many other Carihi Secondary graduates, Bellavance is looking to secure a good post secondary education and have the chance to participate in what life at college will offer.
For this young lady, it will be a great experience while playing on the Manhattanville College Valiants hockey squad on a scholarship.
And, if that isn’t enough, she has been offered a position on the softball team as well.
While this is great news, it hasn’t been an easy road for Bellavance.
In fact, she hasn’t been able to play in her hometown arena since Grade 9.
Bellavance played her last home game with the Campbell River Tyees AAA boys rep team team.
From there she moved on to competitive female hockey with the North Island Edge midget A female zone team, as an underage.
Making the zone team wasn’t the difficult part of the North Island Edge program; there was travel regularly for that first year and the team alternated home rinks around the North Island throughout that season.
Bellavance’s next couple of years found her on a team based in Nanaimo. Being one of the only Campbell River players on a zone team can be difficult. School work and social activities can be difficult for most teenagers but adding long hours on the road mid-week for practices and weekends spent away for games can take its toll. Among Bellavance’s hockey accomplishments are:
- U 16 Team Island for the BC Cup two years in a row
- Attending the 2010 Winter Games (as team captain)
- U 18 Team Island and attending Team BC main camp as an underage
Making the Pacific Steelers would be another stepping stone for Bellavance.
Many hockey fans are getting to be more aware of the opportunities that are available for females in hockey.
Still, there is a cost to this level of athletic competition. Every weekend from September to March this past season, Bellavance has been occupied with games and tournaments.
These involve taking a car, ferry and frequently a plane. The air miles from travel to Ontario, Minnesota (twice), North Dakota, Alberta ( twice), Vermont, New Hampshire, Washington, DC and New York could make one dizzy.
Take that and then put the pressure of performing well for your final exams and it can be overwhelming. But Bellavance pulled it off and also performed well in the classroom.
Bellavance certainly has a long list of accomplishments and to watch her skate, see her determination and drive to become the best at her sport, you quickly see what the coaches and scouts saw when they were looking for a player to invite to their program.