The University of Prince Edward Island’s Anja Weisser was born and raised in Kaufbeuren, Germany – a town of about 40,000 that she describes as “a hockey city”.
The sport became a big part of her life at an early age.
“I have been playing since I was six,” she says. And even in those days, “I was on the ice pretty much every day and in the summer we trained five times a week.”
In 2008, Weisser attended an International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) training camp with visitors from over 35 countries. Here, she met and befriended a teammate from Prince Edward Island who would later be the first to recommend UPEI and several other Canadian schools to Weisser upon her graduation from high school.
“I decided to go to UPEI based on the conversations I had with (coach) Bruce Donaldson,” she says. “He seemed really interested and helpful. I was very excited to get accepted to UPEI and the team.”
Now in her third year of business administration, Weisser says the greatest challenge she has faced so far has been in trying to ensure she has time for school, for hockey and to keep in touch with her family in Germany.
Luckily she saw her efforts rewarded last season when she and her fellow Panthers won UPEI’s first-ever AUS women’s hockey banner.
This year, she has her sights set even higher.
“I expect to win the AUS [banner] again this year and to do better in the CIS [championship].
Getting to know Anja Weisser:
What first brought you to Canada?
“When I was little, I always dreamed about going overseas to Canada. Games that I have played with the national team against Canada or the U.S. made me want to go there even more. “
Tell us about your experiences growing up playing hockey in Germany.
“I used to play on a boys’ team because there are only women’s teams and no girls’ teams. It wasn’t easy being the only girl on a boys’ team, but it made me want to play even more. I played for a team called ESV Kaufbeuren until I was 17, a first league boys’ team. Then I switched to play for a second league boys team, and then I played for the first league women’s team.”
Follow Anja on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnjaWeisser