Sylvan Lake lacrosse player Erin Bryenton likes her sport because it’s fast, intense, and different. With the popularity of girls’ lacrosse still growing, she plays for a boys team in Red Deer.
“I just think it’s very fun,” said Erin, who was first exposed to the sport through her older brother.
“She’s very competitive,” said her mother, Sonya.
After five years of playing on a male-dominated team, Erin finally joined Team Alberta to compete in the 2012 Female Lacrosse National Championships, held in Victoria, B.C. from Jul. 28 – Aug. 2. After days of competition, Erin and her teammates won bronze.
“It was really exciting to win bronze,” said Erin. “I was sad we didn’t win first, but happy we didn’t get last.”
They faced teams from British Columbia, Ontario, and Nova Scotia. Erin said she was close to her teammates because of the many team-building exercises they did together.
“I think team-building made me better because it made it a lot more fun,” said Erin.
During the regular lacrosse season, Erin practises three times a week. With Team Alberta, she practised once during the week, then attended lacrosse camps every weekend in July. She participated in drills in addition to team-building, and worked on her technique and fitness.
“They wanted a lot of movement of the ball,” said Erin, adding that her coaches emphasized teamwork during her training. Thanks to the coaching, she said her hand skills and playing technique have improved.
Erin balances lacrosse with her other commitments. She used to dance, but gave it up as lacrosse required more time. A Grade 8 student at École Fox Run School, she does her homework on the road to Red Deer, or while heading to games in Edmonton and Calgary.