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Injury forced Charlottetown native to give up spot on softball team from 2017 Canada Games but is now proudly wearing Island colours with ringette squad in Red Deer, Alta.
Robyn Power is fulfilling a childhood dream of competing in the Canada Games after a torn labrum forced her to give up the opportunity two years ago.
The 18-year-old Charlottetown native is a member of Team P.E.I.’s ringette squad in Red Deer, Alta. She made the province’s softball team for the 2017 Games in Winnipeg but decided not to attend after dislocating her shoulder on her throwing arm in May 2017.
Power, who had three more dislocations while playing softball, hockey and volleyball, had surgery in May 2018. She is now healthy and happy to be competing with the country’s best.
“It’s amazing,” Power said Monday from Red Deer. “It's a once-in-a-lifetime chance to represent your province and represent them proudly, so it’s an honour to be here. I have been waiting so, so long and (my teammates) have been waiting long, too. It just feels like forever, but I’m finally here, so I am really grateful.”
Jeff Ellsworth, who coached the women’s softball team in 2017, was in Prince Albert, Sask., putting on a national junior men’s camp when he got the call from Power. He remembers vividly her saying she had to had to bow out for the betterment of the team.
“It just broke my heart,” he said, noting how professional and sincere she was.
He credited her parents, Bobby and Aletha, for instilling great values in their daughter.
“They did a phenomenal job. They raised her the right way with her morals, ethics and values,” he said.
Power said it was a hard decision but knew it was best to have someone healthy on the roster.
“I wanted to put the team first and do what was right,” she said.
Power documented departure day Thursday at the airport and was all smiles as she boarded the plane for Alberta. She said it was the culmination of a lot of hard work and some friendships that go back 12 years.
“I love competing. I love having fun. I love making new friends. I just love sports,” she said Monday.Ellsworth said sometimes the Games are secondary to the quality people you meet through the process. He was pleased to get to know Power and excited that she is able to compete this week with the country’s best.
“I’m pretty proud of her right now,” he said. “For her now, to get the opportunity to go to the Canada Games and represent P.E.I. in ringette (I was) tremendously excited to hear that.”
Mike James has coached Power in ringette for 10 years. He said the multi-sport athlete is fun to coach.
“She’s a great team player,” he said. “Robyn is one of those girls that will keep the spirits up with everybody.”
Team P.E.I. hasn't had an easy schedule in Red Deer. They were 0-4 after playing powerhouses like Quebec and Ontario as well as larger provinces like British Columbia and Saskatchewan.
“It’s amazing to see all the talent,” Power said.
“We’ve been working really hard,” added Power, who is playing on a forward line with Devon Costello and Olivia Devine. “We’ve been hitting lots of posts and having lots of opportunities but it’s just not going our way yet, but we’re keeping it positive.”
Team P.E.I. plays its first playoff game today at 2:30 p.m. Atlantic.
Need to know
Who – An 18-year-old Charlottetown native and a member of Team P.E.I.’s ringette squad at the Canada Games in Red Deer, Alta.
Did you know? Power made the women’s softball team for the 2017 Canada Games but decided to give up her spot on the team after an injury in order for someone else to go.
Softball coach Jeff Ellsworth said: “Everybody on the team – coaching staff, management and players – they all loved Robyn and they were all pretty heartbroken that she couldn't come to Canada Games. She was a good person, good teammate but she had a special set of skills, too.”
Student-athlete – Power and Kathrine McEwen were named co-female athletes of the year at Charlottetown Rural High School in June.
Power’s highlight of the 2019 Canada Games – “When we’re here competing, we have the biggest fan base. We have all our parents up there cheering as loud as they can. Our families have come all the way from P.E.I. to come and watch us – all the way across Canada – it’s truly amazing. It’s amazing to see how much support we have.”