From Hockey Player to Hockey Intern

By: Tabitha Bacus

Jaiden Forrest, a Grand Rapids native, was given the opportunity in March to play for Team USA at the Winter Universiade (University Games) in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. Held every two years, the Winter Universiade is the largest global winter multi-sport event for student-athletes. It features athletes from over 50 different countries and spans 11 days. In February, Jaiden wrapped up her last of three seasons with Davenport University’s ACHA D1 women’s hockey team.

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During her hockey career, Jaiden has participated in two Meijer State Games of Michigan Hockey tournaments. In 2014, she scored the game winning goal for Team West in the bronze medal game. To Jaiden, the Meijer State Games of Michigan was more than just a tournament. It was an opportunity for her to grow in her athletic abilities, to make lasting friendships, and create memories to look back on for years to come.

It’s rewarding to be able to play with other players that may be better than you or to be able to play up a level, because in the end it pushes you to improve your own game. We pushed each other to be better and made great friendships and memories along the way.

One aspect of the Meijer State Games that Jaiden enjoyed was participating in the Opening Ceremonies. They allowed her to walk alongside her fellow hockey players as they were showcased in the Parade of Athletes. She got the chance to meet some of the other athletes that came to West Michigan to participate in the Games. It was so fun getting to meet athletes from other sports and to learn about what parts of Michigan they were from.

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This summer, Jaiden is rejoining Meijer State Games of Michigan Hockey as an Event Operations and Marketing Intern. She is looking forward to a great turnout for tryouts and hopes to see more fan support for the women’s hockey tournament. She has a piece of advice for any female hockey players considering the State Games’ tournament: just try out.

Go with a positive attitude, willingness to meet others and learn from different coaching perspectives. Hockey is a world of opportunity; you never know who could be watching or where you might end up.

For tryout registration, locations, and other information, visit stategamesofmichigan.com/hockey or click the button below.