Workshop with Danelle Im
Jo Smith, Athletic Director
and Riley McIntosh, Ice Sports Coach
Our Branksome Bears ice hockey teams recently participated in a workshop by Olympian Danelle Im. During her childhood, Danelle grew up in Toronto, Canada, and developed a passion for ice hockey. At the age of six, she was inspired by her older brothers to start playing the sport. Throughout her elementary, middle, and high school years, Danelle participated in various club teams and transitioned from boys' ice hockey to girls' ice hockey during her eighth-grade year. After completing her secondary education, she enrolled in Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, to pursue a degree in Kinesiology and Physical Education while continuing to play ice hockey.
In 2012, Danelle was approached by the Korean Ice Hockey Association (KIHA) and recruited to train with the Korean women's national ice hockey team in preparation for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. Since then, she has dedicated her summers to training with the Korean national team and spent a whole year training in Korea leading up to the 2018 Olympics. After the Olympics, Danelle competed with Team Korea in the World Championships before returning to Canada to pursue a degree in nursing.
Danelle joined us at the Branksome Hall Asia Ice rink after participating for Team Korea again in the World Championships hosted in Suwon, displaying her exceptional skills and expertise in ice hockey.
In sharing her expertise with our students, Ms. Im spoke about the importance of continuing to practice fundamental skating skills, and she took the time to demonstrate technical details to all students. After practice, we had a Q&A session where students asked several questions.
Q: “Did your parents ever ask you to stop training and focus on studying?”
A: “No, my parents always encouraged me to play ice hockey and follow my passion. I continued to play ice hockey for the University team at Wilfrid Laurier University before joining the 2018 Olympic team in Pyeongchang.”
Q: “What was it like playing with North Korean players at the Olympics, and were there any challenges?”
A: “The biggest challenge of the Olympics was communication. It was tough to communicate with teammates, and the Canadian coach also experienced difficulties communicating with players”.
Q: “What is the most important thing to focus on to become a better ice hockey player?”
A: “Practice is important! It is essential to focus on improving when you practice. But it is important to have goals and dreams big! You never know where ice hockey might lead you. There are lots of opportunities to play ice hockey at University and beyond. So enjoy the experience of playing with your teammates.
Following the workshop, our students had the opportunity to engage in a question-and-answer session, which they found to be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. They also enjoyed taking pictures with Danelle and acquiring her signature on their new jerseys, enhancing their enthusiasm for the event.
We thank Danelle for generously dedicating her time and exhibiting her graciousness throughout the event. We would also like to extend a special thank you to the parents of our ice hockey players, who showed their unwavering support for the event. Lastly, we would like to express our appreciation to Mr. McIntosh for his exceptional contributions to the development of the program over the past year.