Picking up their second third-place result in just over a months’ time, this past weekend saw the conclusion of the inaugural season for the newly introduced CWHL Future Stars. Jason Chuback, President of the Future Stars program, began recruiting for the Bantam Girls spring hockey team in July of 2017 and upon filling out the roster with talented young stars from across the province of Manitoba, began training almost immediately.
“We’ve built a program around respect, support and character, something that comes naturally to every athlete who has been chosen to wear the uniform,” stated Chuback. “Most of our athletes chose to leave their programs after three or four years of participation and although they were leaving familiarity, a lot of the girls mentioned that it was an absolute honour to be offered to play within an organization backed by the CWHL. These girls know that with wearing the crest comes great responsibility.”
No formal tryouts were held, rather, each athlete was preselected to be a member of the program based off their skill set and most importantly, their character. Chuback mentions that athletes come from all over Manitoba; some as far as six hours away. When asked why these girls are willing to travel so far to compete on this team, the answer remained uniform, the honour and opportunity to excel.
With support from a team of dedicated parents, Chuback and the Future Stars most recently took flight to Alberta and Toronto, to compete in tournaments where their skills were put to the test. The Future Stars finished third in the Alberta Champions Cup in the 14U Bantam Girl’s category. They would receive the same result a few weeks later in Toronto, Ont. Additionally, the team received a special coaching session with CWHL co-founder and Olympic medalist Sami Jo Small.
“Travelling outside Manitoba to tournaments that host teams who have been playing together for many years really define just how good our program is and will be. Parent involvement has been huge and without their support, our team would not exist”
The program had a very successful first year providing a dedicated group of young girls the opportunity to receive a high-level of coaching from head coach Addie Miles-Abbott. Miles-Abbott came to the Future Stars from The Rink, where she is the Director of Female Player Development. Before her involvement with the CWHL Future Stars and The Rink, she had an impressive five-year hockey career at the University of Manitoba. Miles-Abbott was named team MVP for three consecutive years with the Bisons, winning two Canada West Championships, and was named Female Athlete of the Year in 2012. She was also a member of Team Canada in 2011 for the FISU games in Erzerum, Turkey where she helped Canada win the gold medal. Since graduation, she has additionally served as an assistant coach with the University of Manitoba’s women’s varsity hockey team.
Special thanks to CWHL Future Stars sponsors: The Rink, Player Development; Air Unlimited Inc. Power Management; G&K Electric Inc. Electrical Solutions; Advantage Skill Development; and TD Bank.
To learn more about the CWHL Future Stars program visit thecwhl.com/future-stars.