2022 23 npt selection camp alanna raphaelle 960 1

Competing at camp in Calgary

Alanna Mah and Raphaëlle Tousignant are excited to be in Calgary, Alta., for selection camp to compete for roster spots on Canada’s National Para Hockey Team this season

Shannon Coulter
|
September 7, 2022
|

Coming off a silver medal at the inaugural Para Ice Hockey Women’s World Challenge in Green Bay, Wis., Alanna Mah and Raphaëlle Tousignant are now competing for a roster spot on Canada’s National Para Team in Calgary. This is the second instance in team history that women para hockey players have been invited to selection camp; Christina Picton first participated in selection camp in 2019.

From how they were introduced to the game to their favourite memory on the ice, get to know these two up-and-coming Canadian para hockey athletes.

Hockey Canada (HC): How were you introduced to para hockey?

Alanna Mah (AM): I started playing when I was nine years old. I’ve always loved hockey, but I actually started playing soccer with the Paralympic Sports Association in Edmonton. I found [para] hockey through that, and then [I] started playing.

Raphaëlle Tousignant (RT): I was introduced to para hockey by my father after getting my leg amputated. It was very important to me to find a sport on the ice to do, I used to play ringette before my amputation. With the help of all the professionals around me at that time, they brought me to the rink on a Saturday morning a couple years ago, and I just fell in love with para hockey.

HC: What was your reaction when you found out you were invited to selection camp?

AM: It was surprising, but I was super honoured to be here. It’s such an honour to be amongst all the guys that are here too and keep going with my playing career here.

RT: I was very excited, but I was freaking out at the same time. It was a mixed feeling. I’m so happy to be here, it’s a very great opportunity for me. I said it in the past, my goal is to go to the Paralympic games so if it is with the women or maybe with the men, we never know. I’m going to take that chance, this opportunity and see what’s going to happen.

HC: What is your favourite para hockey memory?

AM: I feel like it’s going to be a tie between my first invite to NextGen camp in 2019 and [playing in the Women’s World Challenge in] Green Bay with the women’s team.

RT: My favourite para hockey memory was my first next gen camp in 2019. I remember when I started playing para hockey, […] I wanted to go [to the Paralympic Games] with the men’s team, and people were thinking I was crazy and that I would never be able to achieve that. When I received the call from Hockey Canada telling me you’re invited to the NextGen camp, it was just crazy. At that moment, I really started believing that I could maybe do that, and I learned so many things as a player at [that] camp.

HC: How do you see the sport of para hockey evolving over the next five years?

AM: Obviously, I’d like to see the women’s game continue to grow. I feel like the recognition of the sport is gaining popularity and people are becoming more aware [about para hockey]. So just growing the sport bigger.

RT: For the women’s side of the game, I would say an official world championship. That’s our goal and I really hope that’s going to happen. For more of the men’s side of the game, I would say just keep pushing the limits and keep getting better, even better than what the men are right now. And [by] surrounding ourselves with the best professionals, we can really get better.

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

emadziya@hockeycanada.ca 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

ssharkey@hockeycanada.ca

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

jknight@hockeycanada.ca

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