Nancy Moore, 14, will be playing on Team BC in the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships for the second year in a row. (Contributed Photo)

Terrace-born Haida athlete chosen to play at National Aboriginal Hockey Championship

The games will be held in Whitehorse this year

A Terrace-born Haida athlete will be playing on Team BC at this year’s National Aboriginal Hockey Championship (NAHC) in Whitehorse, Yukon from May 5 to 13.

Nancy Moore, 14, has been selected to be on the team after going through rigorous try-outs earlier this month. This is her second consecutive year on the team.

“[Tryouts] were very competitive… if you make the team, you get one practice with them but besides that, it’s just game time off the bat. You got to show up ready,” Moore says. “[But] to perform in front of huge crowds and have the experience to play with such a nice and loving family is great.”

Each year, the championships are held in different locations throughout Canada and have teams, divided by gender, representing various regions of the country. Team BC is comprised of a total of 19 athletes that have been chosen from across the province.

“Last year, there was a lot of grade 12s and they can’t play anymore, so it’ll be a different experience with age groups and the level of hockey,” she says.

READ MORE: Terrace Indigenous skater takes front page of US magazine

In 2018, Moore played on the U18 Team BC at the NAHC that took place in Sydney, N.S. and says after that experience, she was motivated to keep trying out for the team for as long as she could as she sees it as an important part of her future.

“I want to be the person that plays until the sixth year,” she says “I want to get a scholarship for hockey and hopefully one day I can play for Team Canada.”

Although Moore has grown up in Terrace, she moved to Prince George, B.C. with her family in 2017 to pursue more athletic opportunities. She’s a student at Prince George Senior Secondary School, known for its well-established hockey academy.

Currently, she plays for the Female Bantam Cougars Rep team and is an affiliated player for the Northern Capitals Major Midget team.

“Being able to play with someone [is great],” Moore says. “They basically become your sisters, you can count on them for anything, it’s just a second family and you feel like you belong.”

Her coach, Mario Desjardins, is also originally from Terrace and recognized by the BC Hockey Association, and has been an important figure in her training that led her to NAHC, she says.

READ MORE: Nisga’a members part of B.C. basketball team that won gold in Pan Pacific Masters

But she adds her love for hockey was sparked when living in Terrace. She began hockey at seven years old, after playing soccer and competitively skiing, and she was encouraged by her friends to try the rink. She naturally picked it up and has been playing it since.

“Even if I’m not playing for the [Terrace] team, I still get their name out to let people know about Terrace. [I want] to promote my hometown,” Moore says.

In preparation for the NAHC, she’s been visualizing the plays in her head to imagine herself winning the games. She’s also been training on ice by shooting pucks for approximately eight hours a week.

As a Haida, she says having the opportunity to represent her First Nations’ heritage makes her very proud and hopes it encourages others to follow their passions.

“To be able to represent my nation is being able to show people that it doesn’t really matter where you’re from, you can still be a good hockey player, you can still do great things and succeed in other places.”

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(Contributed Photo)

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