Local hockey player, Luca Dufour is excited for the opportunity to play during the 2020 Alberta Winter Games from Feb. 14 to Feb. 17.
“I can’t wait to meet all the new people, have that experience of going and to play competitive hockey and just overall going there and having fun,” Dufour said.
Tryouts for the 2020 Alberta Winter Games consisted of three-games in one day.
However, Dufour was determined to play elite hockey and have the opportunity to play against experience athletes his age.
“It was a very fun experience. It was very competitive, and I had to play my best hockey,” Dufour said.
When Dufour found out he has chosen to play in the 2020 Alberta Winter Games, he was overwhelmed.
“I was very excited and happy. I was overwhelmed and just happy overall,” Dufour said.
“Hockey has always been the biggest thing in my life, on the ice with friends playing a very fun sport. It’s the best sport out there, and I like playing competitively, competing and playing hard,” he said.
Dufour is now training for the games four to five days a week by shooting pucks every chance he gets, working out at home, and playing his best during regular games.
Although Dufour has not met the majority of his new teammates in person, they have created a group chat and sent introductory videos to one another.
Dufour completely fell in love with hockey nearly eight years ago, after the first time his father took him out on the ice.
“I went out on the ice with my dad, he gave me a stick, and we started. I couldn’t skate, but I just went around trying to learn,” he said.
Dufour now plays in the Chestermere Minor Hockey Association (CMHA) for the Chestermere Lakers Pee Wee AA team.
Although hockey is Dufour’s passion, the Chestermere Lakers season this year has not gone as planned.
“This year, it’s not easy for us. We’re not winning too many games. I get frustrated, and I have to try and keep my focus and try to win more games,” Dufour said.
To ensure the Chestermere Lakers play the best they can during their regular games, Dufour tries his best keep focused on the game and help his teammates.
“I focus on my game and help others. I can’t do anything if I’m on the bench, so when I’m out on the ice I have to make it count, and practice,” Dufour said.
Adding, “I have to help my teammates out and work hard.”
When Dufour’s father, Rejean Dufour, heard his son wanted to try out for the 2020 Alberta Winter Games, he was extremely excited and supportive that his son wanted to represent Chestermere in the games.
“I was pretty excited for him, it was definitely one of his goals,” said Rejean.
He added, “I was super happy for him, he definitely worked hard for it. He’s a pretty disciplined kid and he deserves it.”