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Sophie Shirley, Emily Clark, Jason Weber and former U of S Huskies women's hockey captain, Kaitlin WIlloughby participated in the Fall Festival representing Saskatchewan.

Kinesiology’s Weber lends a hand to National Women’s Hockey Team

Hockey Canada hosted 59 women hockey players from across Canada for their annual Fall Festival in Dawson Creek, BC as they compete for a spot on Canada’s National Women’s Team.

Jason Weber is well-known around the University of Saskatchewan’s campus as an expert and leader in fitness and personal training at the College of Kinesiology’s Human Performance Center. In his role, he leads coordinates all personal training at the university, runs strength and conditioning programs for the Huskie Athletic varsity teams, and conducts physiological fitness testing for a broad range of clients. Over the last 15 years, Weber has also coordinated, designed and implemented off-season high-performance training for hockey players of all levels from grassroots to current NHL players.

This past week, Weber found himself working with an elite group of 59 athletes outside the U of S campus – members of Canada’s National Women’s Team. The Fall Festival annual training camp is hosted by Hockey Canada and is designed to develop and evaluate Canada’s leading female hockey players.

The training camp took place in Dawson Creek, BC and athletes were split into two teams: Team White and Team Red. Each team trained and competed against one another as well as a few local men’s teams in the area, trying to earn their spot on an elite Olympic roster.

Weber was invited to conduct fitness testing and act as the lead strength and conditioning coach with Team White. His role included fitness instruction, testing, warm-ups, cooldowns, and in-game statistics. He also had the chance to sit down with players individually to discuss how their past training went and to start mapping out what their plan will be moving forward.

“Coming together with so many experts and, collaborating and working together towards one common goal of producing the best possible on-ice product was really a great experience for me," said Weber. "The players are exceptionally driven, and it's an honor to be a part of their journey.”

Weber wasn’t the only Saskatchewan representative at the camp, as he was joined by former U of S Huskie women’s hockey captain, Kaitlin Willoughby, and Saskatoon natives, Sophie Shirley and Emily Clark.

“It was a huge thrill to attend camp with the three Saskatoon women and bring some U of S expertise to the national level”, said Weber. “I have worked with each of them for several years as their strength and conditioning coach, and it was amazing to see them play at this level and do what they do best.”

Following the Fall Festival, Hockey Canada will select a team to represent Canada in the 4 Nations Cup which will be held in Saskatoon this November. Canada’s National Women’s Team will face off against Sweden, Finland, and the United States.

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