Dream Job: Hockey Player
Many people dream of being a famous sports star when they grow up, but not everyone achieves that dream. Have you ever wanted to become a star in a sport like hockey? A Canadian athlete named Hayley Wickenheiser has become well known for her amazing athletic abilities and for her work in helping others. Like other hockey players, she has worked hard at her sport while also balancing it with the rest of her life.
Becoming a professional hockey player takes a combination of talent and hard work. Hayley Wickenheiser discovered her athletic abilities early. She grew up in Shaunavon, Saskatchewan, where she became skillful at several different sports, including hockey and softball. When she was fifteen years old she started playing hockey at the Women’s World Championships as part of the Canadian National Women’s Team. The team won seven gold medals over the next years. Hayley later played on men’s teams in Finland and Sweden, and she has won gold and silver medals at several Olympic Games. She is now known as one of the best athletes in the world.
For most athletes, the time they spend on playing their sport every year is fairly short because the work is seasonal. However, they spend a lot of time during the rest of the year on training and keeping themselves healthy. They run, lift weights, swim, cycle, and continue to practice their skills. They try to keep themselves healthy by eating good food and avoiding anything that might make them sick. They keep themselves strong so that they can play well.
A career in sports is not usually very long, and most athletes move on to other jobs by the time they are about thirty years old. Some athletes have to leave sports because of injuries, but most of them leave because of age, when they no longer have the energy to keep up with the demands of the sport. Hayley Wickenheiser has continued in professional sports longer than many other athletes, but she is also preparing for a different career after she finishes playing hockey. In 2013, she received a science degree in kinesiology from the University of Calgary, which will help her if she works to help other athletes play better.
Besides her sports and her studies, Hayley has been working in several other areas. She works with several groups that encourage girls to get into sports, and she also works with a group that buys mosquito nets for people in countries that have trouble with a deadly disease called malaria. Hayley has traveled to Africa to work with the charity that she started, Right to Play. Her personal life is also busy, since she is looking after her son in addition to everything else that she does. She is already well known for her hockey skills, but people also recognize her for this charitable work.
Are you good at playing hockey? If you practice your skills and become part of local teams, you might someday be able to make hockey your career.