Annalisa Trieber and Sebastian Reinhart are not your average Grade 5 students. The dynamic duo are each set to head out on international adventures this summer – one for hockey and one for dance.
While you may have assumed it would be Annalisa heading off to New York to dance and Sebastian heading off to Europe for hockey, the pair are uniquely reversed when it comes to sports traditionally played by their genders.
With Annalisa excelling on the ice and Reinhart busting out break dance moves, the pair are non-traditional to say the least. Together, the youngMother Teresa students gave a presentation to students of Our Lady of the Rosary school on Tuesday morning where they shared their journeys as part of Mental Health Week.
The duo spoke on the importance of positive mental health when it comes to athletics and spoke to students on topics such as resiliency, overcoming obstacles and the role determination can play in achieving your goals.
First they shared how each came to be in their non-traditional sport.
“I wanted to do this sport because my mom was a figure skater and then became a hockey player,” explained Annalisa. “My dad was a hockey player.So they decided to put me in skating lessons to see if I liked it. Well let me tell you this I knew hockey was the sport for me because I loved it!”
Sebastian told how he spent his very early years listening to music his parents played.
“I started finding my own beat and began to try different dance moves in my basement,” said Sebastian. “I was very shy growing up and didn’t really start any conversations. But when it comes to dancing I don’t hesitate to get in front of a crowd and share my talents.”
Annalisa detailed challenges she has faced in her hockey career, one of which was the time she got cut from a team she really wanted to be on leaving her feeling very upset.
“I realized it’s not the end of the world,” said Annalisa. “I started practicing more and using positive self talk like ‘I can do it, keep working hard, good pass, don’t give up’.”
She refused to give up and began a power skating program in Red Deer. She practiced shooting with pucks and tennis balls on her driveway and practiced stick handling. Then when next year rolled around she tried out again and made the team.
“I still practice a lot because I love the game and I am now on the Red Deer Rustlers spring hockey team,” she explained. “You may think you want to quit but you should just work through those thoughts and keep working hard.”
As with anything, practice makes perfect and Sebastian encouraged the students to pursue their gifts.
“I do believe I have a natural talent for dance, but I’ve also put many hours of practice into what I love, which is also important – finding the sport that you really love,” he said. “There is always room for improvement and a new level to reach every time. It’s important to surround yourself with positive people and those that share the same passion.”