Agosta back with Team Canada
Agosta back with Team Canada
Took season off to become a police officer
She hasn’t slept a lot in the past year.
She has been trying to adjust to shift work.
And she’s the new kid on the block, working hard to learn the ins and outs of her chosen career and make an impression. Agosta, well known in the hockey world as one of Canada’s best female players, has been a constable with the Vancouver Police Department for just over two months.
Agosta admits the past year has been hard but she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I have only been on the road now, as a full constable, for two-and-a-half months,” says Agosta, 28, who is a three-time Olympian. “Just getting to know my squad and being so junior, having to work long hours and staying late doing overtime, not getting that much sleep. The shift work is something that you have to get used to. It’s been tough and I’m trying to find the balance to go to the gym and train hard and prepare. I’m really excited to see what the future holds.”
Agosta has been away from Canada’s national women’s team for about a year. In September 2014, just months after winning gold with Canada at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Agosta was sworn in as one of the new recruits of the Vancouver Police Department.
She then spent nine months training with the academy (“where you’re learning how to shoot, how to drive, how to articulate, how to use the radio”) before graduating in May 2015.
“I’ve had two passions and that’s hockey and policing,” says Agosta.
Agosta was one of 47 players at last week's Hockey Canada fall festival, which is the first step of the Canadian women’s national team’s season leading to the 2016 IIHF World Women’s Championships in Kamloops, British Columbia. She helped Team Red to a perfect 4-0 record in games against Team White and two Midget AAA boys clubs.
“I have been so fortunate that Hockey Canada gave me that year off and believed in me to go and pursue my career,” says Agosta. “They knew that I would come back. And now the Vancouver Police are supporting me by allowing me to come to the different camps that Hockey Canada invites me too. They know that I still want to be a part of Team Canada and go to another Olympics. So to be able to have the support from both is unbelievable.”
Agosta’s goal is to play with Canada at the 2018 Games in PyeongChang, South Korea and she has done her best to stay in shape to ensure a smooth transition back to the women’s team.
During Agosta’s time at the academy, she was a member of the Vancouver Centurions hockey club, made up of police officers. The pace was fast as a number of the players have professional, junior and collegiate hockey experience.
“It’s great hockey. I know a lot of guys are ex-pro guys or ex-Division 1 guys,” says Agosta. “It kind of reminds me of when we get centralized and we play against the Midget AAA boys. The skills are like that but better. They’re stronger, they’re faster, they have longer reaches.”
“This year I’m going to try and get on with a Midget AAA team or maybe a junior team and just practise with them. It’s unfortunate that we don’t have a women’s team in Vancouver but I’m fortunate that the guys allow me to play and practise with them to keep me up to speed.”
Agosta and her teammates will play four games this week as part of the fall festival. Canada’s 47 players have been split into Teams Red and White and they will be joined by two Midget AAA boys teams for a mini tournament. Each team will play four games this week.
Although Agosta has been away from Team Canada for a year, she will be looked at as one of new leaders. Last week, Hockey Canada announced the retirements of Jayna Hefford, Gillian Apps and Catherine Ward. Hefford and Apps were long-time leaders with the national team.
Agosta won gold at the 2006, 2010 and 2014 Olympics. She became a household name in 2010 when she was named MVP of the 2010 Games in Vancouver after scoring nine goals and adding six assists in just five games.
At 28, and with that experience under her belt, Agosta is sure to be one of Canada’s leaders through to the next Olympics.
“I’m definitely excited to take on a leadership role here,” she says. “I’m more than honoured to do so. It would be an honour to wear a letter here and be a part of that. But that’s not really what I’m focused on. I’m still going to lead by example no matter what.”
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