RED DEER – This month’s Alumni Spotlight focuses on Tara Swanson, formerly of the Sherwood Park Fury.
Tara began her minor hockey experience at the age of five in her hometown of Wetaskiwin. She credits her Father’s passion and dedication to everything he does as the biggest influence in her hockey career.
After playing in the male program in Wetaskiwin during her early minor hockey years, Tara moved on to play three years of U18 with Sherwood Park, including one season with the U18 AAA Fury, in what was previously the Alberta Female Major Midget Hockey League. After her minor hockey career, Tara moved on to play with the NAIT Ooks (ACAC), Edmonton Chimos (WWHL), and Alberta Honeybadgers (CWHL). Off the ice, she has also represented Canada in ball hockey at the 2017 and 2019 ISBHF World Championships.
“Minor hockey taught me about team play and started to introduce me to competitiveness while growing my confidence to get me ready for the next level,” said Tara. “Playing with friends while being competitive were my favourite things about playing hockey.”
Tara, who now works as a Pharmacy Technician, is still very active in the hockey community, as she coached with the U18 AAA St. Albert Slash during their run of three straight Esso Cup victories. Currently, she is the head coach of the U15 AA Sherwood Park Royals and has coached within the Team Alberta program at various events, most recently as the head coach for Zone 6 at the 2020 Alberta Winter Games.
During the current pause on indoor team sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tara is making sure that her team stays connected. The U15 AA Royals are continuing to stay in shape by doing three dryland sessions per week with their trainer. They are also doing video sessions to work through their player books, along with other team building activities.
“Hockey has given me the opportunity to become a coach, teach power skating, become better at my job, and a better overall person,” she said of the opportunities she has been afforded through hockey.
As a coach, Tara has a tremendous impact on young athletes in her community. If you have a coach who exemplifies positive values of hockey sport, and would like to see them rewarded for their hard work in the community, nominate her for the BFL Female Coach of the Year award!