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South Surrey’s Meghan Agosta inspiring girls to play hockey, in light of PWHL

‘Sky’s the limit’ says 3x Olympic gold medalist

Olympic gold medalist Meghan Agosta is inspiring the next generation of girls to believe in themselves.

“Set goals, dream big, believe in yourself and your abilities and the sky’s the limit,” Agosta said.

The 36-year-old South Surrey resident spoke to a room of girls and parents at WickFest in Surrey on Feb. 3. Eighty teams from across North America were in Surrey for the annual WickFest, officially known as Canadian Tire Wickenheiser Female World Hockey Festival, first held in Surrey in 2018.

Agosta has been a member of the Canadian women’s national hockey team since 2004 and has won three Olympic golds and one Olympic silver medal.

“For me, honestly, it’s not about the gold and silver medals that I’ve won; it’s about trying to inspire a generation like you girls to do something special in your lives,” Agosta says.

“It’s about trying to inspire you guys,” Agosta said. “We now have the PWHL that, you know, once you girls go through the different levels, and once you graduate, to play in that league would probably be a dream come true for you.”

Agosta said her key to success was having a positive mindset and being resilient. It’s a hard game.

Before each game, she would take a piece of tape and write three things she wanted to work on in that game. Such as “stay strong on the puck.” She would then put that tape in her glove.

“So every time I’d come off the ice, I would look at it, and it would remind me, okay, got to do these things.”

She often went to her coach after games, asking for feedback on what she did well and where she needed improvement.

“Be open to being coachable and not taking things the coach says negatively and dwell on it; take it and use it to your advantage.”

READ MORE: Surrey Wickfest girls can now shoot for the pros with launch of PWHL hockey

Agosta also runs week-long hockey clinics in Ontario and wants to bring it to Surrey.

The Agosta High Performance Hockey Academy offers boys and girls an opportunity to learn how to play hockey “while concentrating specifically on skating with and without the puck,” reads a post on meghanagosta.ca/agostas-hockey-academy.

“Skating is the most important skill in the game of hockey at every level. At the Academy, skating is the number one focus; therefore, skill development in other critical areas such as puck handling will improve tremendously.

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Meghan Agosta teaching on ice clinic at WickFest in Surrey on Friday, Feb. 2, 2024. (Photo: Anna Burns)

At WickFest, Agosta spoke about the journey she has gone through, from growing up in Ruthven, Ontario, to becoming an Olympic gold medalist and police officer.

“I come from a very, very small town, you blink you miss it,” Agosta said. “If I could do it, you guys can do it too and you got to really believe in that,” Agosta said.

At a very young age, her parents put her in figure skating. While she did not mind figure skating, her real passion was hockey.

“My brother was the one who really inspired me to play,” Agosta said.

Agosta would spend hours outside playing street hockey. “I just kept going out on the street, learning how to skate, taking shot, after shot,” Agosta said. “I put my little sister in net sometimes, my brother and I were like the dynamic duo on the road.”

Agosta, at the age of six, pulled her mom aside and begged her to play on a hockey team.

Her dad was nervous about her getting hurt when he registered her in boys’ hockey. In her first game her team won 21-0, 19 of those goals were by Agosta.

Within the month, Agosta moved up and was playing with boys who were two years older than her.

“Since I was six, that’s always been my dream to represent Canada during the Olympic Games and with that came a lot of sacrifice and a lot of hard work.”

Agosta played for Team Ontario in four Canada Winter Games, but her dream was to play for Team Canada.

In 2005, she was invited as an alternate player for the 2005 World Championship team.

That summer, she got the call saying she was one of 27 women who had a chance to play on Team Canada for the 2006 Olympics.

She packed her bags and moved to Calgary.

“I found myself kind of watching and not really, you know, playing, and the head coach pulled me aside, and she said, listen, you’re here for a reason we believe in you need to believe in yourself. If you want to make the team, you need to prove to us that you belong,” Agosta recalled.

From that moment on, Agosta’s attitude changed and she put everything she had into it.

“When it was my turn to walk up into that dressing room to be told if I made the team or not, I knew that I had zero regrets going into that.”

Agosta was one of the 21 women selected to play on Team Canada in the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy.

“What’s really cool about that is my dad was actually born and raised in Italy. He came to Canada on a boat when he was just six.”

Agosta went on to play in three more Olympics, but her spot on the team was not guaranteed.

“Just because I made one Olympic team didn’t mean that I made the next one,” she said.

“As I got older, I became more of a veteran player, my biggest thing was leadership,” Agosta said. “I wasn’t afraid that somebody was going to take my spot, what I wanted was to make somebody, like the new person, feel comfortable and confident to play their best for Team Canada.”

“I knew that hockey wasn’t going to be forever and I knew that education is very important,” Agosta graduated from Mercyhurst University in 2011 with a degree in criminal justice degree with a minor in criminal psychology.

Agosta said her biggest challenge was when she moved to Vancouver and started her career in policing after the 2014 Sochi Olympics. She went to Hockey Canada at the time to request a year off to focus on her career in policing.

But she did not give up hockey during that time. There was no women’s league in Vancouver, so she practiced with midget AAA boys and played with the Vancouver Police men’s team. “I’ve had two passions of my life, hockey and policing,” Agosta said.

“I could have totally looked at myself and said, ‘You know what, this is too hard, I’m gonna just, you know, retire.’ But for me, I embraced that challenge I took on,” Agosta recalled.

She returned to the national team program in the fall of 2015.

“Not only was I the most consistent, but I was one of the best players in 2018,” Agosta said.

“So picture working 12-hour shifts from six at night till six in the morning, training when you get home, sleeping, and going back to doing it all over again.

“Some of my teammates were on the ice six times a week, I was on once, maybe three times, if that.”

“So it was very, very challenging but I wasn’t going to take no for an answer and I wasn’t going to let me not being on the ice dictate whether I made Team Canada or not.”

Agosta has been a police officer with the Vancouver Police for 10 years.

She is currently a school liaison officer who visits schools and inspires youth to make good choices.

“When I talk to kids (in school), it’s like, show me your friends, I’ll show you the future kind of thing,” Agosta said.

“As you get older, it’s having those friendships and teammates that are going to help you get through those toughest days.”

-With files from Tom Zillich



Anna Burns

About the Author: Anna Burns

I cover health care, non-profits and social issues-related topics for the Surrey Now-Leader.
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