Abigail Lewis, a thirteen year old living in Ottawa, Ontario with an aspiration to have an athletic career in hockey, has become the recipient of a Canada Drives grant to travel to Italy to further her professional development in the sport.
Earlier this year, Lewis was overjoyed when she learned that she had been selected to attend the 2015 World Series Invitational in Italy. Lewis participated in an unsparing tryout process that resulted in her receiving the invitation to the tournament, attended by high-level youth teams from around the globe. With the support of Canada Drives, Lewis received a grant that permitted her to attend the WSI and perform to what her coach, Dania Simmonds, refers to as a “game changer” for Canada’s team. Hockey has played a critical role in Lewis’ life which has spurred her to dedicate countless hours towards participating in the game that Canadians view as a symbol of the North. The flight to Italy was over ten hours from Ottawa airport; however, an exhausting trip did not inhibit Lewis from being able to fully engage in her hockey experience. She ensured that between high-intensity practices, she was able to consume new flavours of gelato (she describes chai as her favourite flavour) and participate in cultural activities with her team.
Due to the grant, Lewis has been able to participate in high-level multi-national games against teams from North America, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Italy, Czech Republic, Japan, and Germany. Aside from advancing her skill, the grant has empowered Lewis with new friendships and meaningful inter-cultural memories. For more information go to http://www.prohoc.com/page/show/1674284-grants-and-sponsorships.