germany

Anja Weisser

In April 2013 Weisser will blog for WINIH.com while playing for Germany who are competing at the world championship in Ottawa.

Anja Weiser plays for Germany but also plays in Canada for the University of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. She did an interview with Elizabeth Etue in Feb. 2012.

EE: How long have you played on national team?
AW: 6 years (including U-18); 3 years A-team.

EE:How did you get involved in hockey?
AW: My two brothers both play hockey.

EE: What else influenced you re. women's hockey?
AW: Being able to try out for the national team

EE: What do you love about playing the game?
AW: I love to compete and to learn new things every time I step on the ice.

EE: Growing up in Germany, were there challenges for girls playing hockey?
AW: I played guys hockey until I was 17 years old since the women’s program is not as much developed as it is in Canada or the states.

EE: Why did you choose a Cdn school in PEI?
AW: I always wanted to go to Canada to play hockey and go to school. (German schools do not have varsity sports and it is hard to combine sports with school since most schools do not support athletes)

EE:How does UPEI compare to club hockey in Germany?
AW: It is different from club hockey at home, because hockey is more popular in Canada so there is better competition and also, The UPEI program gets compared to club hockey more support from the society and the people around. As an athlete you gain a certain status in the society. People appreciate your work and time you invest in the hockey program and they support you in a lot of ways. Also, the UPEI hockey program allows me to combine my schoolwork with hockey, I find that the university supports its athletes in many ways. There is a stronger cohesion between the players due to the living arrangements and the fact that we see each other in class, practice and in our free time.

EE: What were the adjustments to living and playing in Canada?
AW: I am currently living in a house with 4 teammates. It is definitely an adjustment to make my own food every day, clean and do my own laundry. However I enjoy my freedom

EE: What is a typical day? How much school and how much hockey?
AW: School and hockey pretty much take over my whole day. I usually spend 2-3 hours at the sports center (gym, rink). My normal day starts off with at least 1 to 3 classes every day. After class I go home to make food and take a nap. If I didn’t go to the gym in the morning I usually go before practice. After practice I do some homework/ studying and then go to bed.

EE: What is the challenge now for women in your country compared to 5 years ago?
AW: I would say the challenges are still the same, women’s hockey in Germany does not gain a lot of attention, it often gets ignored. Due to the small number of women teams and the few programs for younger girls, a lot of girls have to practice and play hockey with boys teams, which can be helpful if they get enough support from the coach, team, parents and teammates. However, in some cases they don’t.

EE:What are the biggest challenges your national team faces?
AW: The biggest challenges my national team faces is to demonstrate that we are able to keep up with other top nations like Finland and Sweden and also to show that there is improvement in our team.