Driven by faith

Prince Albert Northern Bears forward Camryn Amundson celebrates scoring a playoff goal against the Battlefords Sharks during the 2018 female Midget AAA postseason at the Art Hauser Centre in P.A. -- Daily Herald File Photo

Graduating P.A. Northern Bear Camryn Amundson uses commitment to her belief system to drive her on-ice success

After a regular season where she won the league’s most sportsmanlike player award and a postseason where she led all skaters in scoring, Camryn Amundson is grateful for her success, while remaining humble about what motivates and drives her.

The graduating Prince Albert Northern Bears forward is a non-denominational Christian who uses her faith on the ice.

Now 18 years old, she’s grown up in her church community, near Debden, which sits about one hour south of P.A.

“I guess it’s where my motivation comes from. Whenever I’m getting down on myself – in everything, sports or anything – I just think, ‘everything I do, do it for God and try your very hardest.’”

A particular New Testament verse that she returns to – one used frequently by athletes – is from Paul’s epistles to the Philippians, chapter 4, verse 13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Talking about her Midget AAA provincial league award, Amundson said her faith drives her sportsmanship.

“I was glad to get an award like that; it was nice to be recognized. But I just try to be the best person I am on and off the ice,” she said.

“Little skirmishes on the ice, I try not to get into them, because really at the end of the day, when the game’s over, we’re all friends – us and the other team … just work my hardest during the play and after the whistle.”

That hard work has paid off.

For this year’s and last year’s regular seasons, she had near identical stat lines: 25 points through 28 games this season, and 27 points through 27 games last season.

Through 10 playoff games over the last two months this year, Amundson led all skaters in scoring, netting eight goals with five assists for 13 total points.

Her success has also landed her the interest of a college hockey program, the Mount Royal University Cougars, in Calgary.

Amundson has committed to play for the Cougars; she’ll be starting school at Mount Royal, come September.

She admits that the move to Calgary may be a bit of an adjustment for her; she’s grown up in and around Debden and P.A.

“I’m familiar with the forests and the farms around me, so getting used to the city will be a little difficult and different. But I’m expecting a team similar to mine, as in they accept me for who I am, and I’m really excited to meet new people and make new friends,” she said.

Amundson also underscored how former P.A. Bear Ireland South – who’s now playing with the University of Regina Cougars – was a role model for her through her first two seasons with Prince Albert hockey team.

South is also a Christian who’s open about her faith. It inspired Amundson to live in a similarly dedicated way as what South does, she said.

Teammates like South and the current roster of Bears players have confirmed for her that, “no matter what team I play on, (it’s ok) if they are religious or not, because on sports teams especially, you come to respect each other no matter what you believe; you work together towards the goal of the team.”

She said that type of support has gone a long way for her, particularly when it comes to being honest with her teammates about her beliefs of what she considers acceptable and unacceptable.

That, she said, is her advice for younger athletes who hold strong religious or faith-based convictions but maybe aren’t sure about expressing them.

“You will get pressured at first to maybe do things that you don’t want to do. But you know what, if you stand up for what you believe in, even timidly, and just even let people know, ‘I don’t do this thing,’ and they’ll completely respect it,” she said.

“In my experiences, everybody’s respected me. Just when I say, ‘oh I don’t really want to do that.’ They say, ‘ok but you can still come.’

“If you’re going through tough times, just keep on going and it will get better.”