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Elmira’s Kambel Beacom gets hockey scholarship to Syracuse

Her love of the game helped propel 17-year-old EDSS student Kambel Beacom to a berth with the Syracuse University hockey team, which she’ll join next fall. [Aneta Rebiszewski]

Still a student at EDSS, Elmira’s Kambel Beacom already has her postsecondary plans in place – well, mostly – as she’s received a scholarship to play hockey at Syracuse University.

The news came as something of a relief to the 17-year-old, who’s excited about heading off to a school with a great hockey program.

“I think it’s a huge weight lifted off my shoulders because it’s been something I’ve been working towards for a long time.”

As she completes her final year of high school in Elmira, Beacom has much to look forward to ahead of attending Syracuse next fall. Although she is unsure of what she wants to study in university, she already had the opportunity to visit the campus and meet the coaches of the hockey team.

“Everyone was so welcoming and I loved the campus,” she said.

What feels like a big accomplishment for the hockey player has been a long time coming since she’s been playing the sport from the age of three. With help from her parents, Beacom first got into hockey because of her father’s love for the sport.

“My dad played hockey growing up and it was kind of something I just loved, so I stuck with it,” she said, noting that trying her hand at other activities such as figure skating helped her determine that hockey was truly the sport she wanted to continue playing.

When she’s not at school, Beacom is on the ice playing for the Cambridge Rivulettes, who are a part of the Provincial Women’s Hockey League in Ontario. Her time playing with the team has landed her an opportunity to play for Team Ontario where she participated in multiple training camps back in May. Once she was chosen for the team, Beacom flew to Manitoba where she played in a week-long tournament.

The Elmira local considers that to be one her biggest accomplishments to date in her hockey career, a chance to play with other girls from different leagues that she even previously competed against.

 “I got to play with them and really get to know them, so it was cool,” she enthused.

While she’s looking forward to the university experience, Beacom is aware there are fewer opportunities for female hockey players than is the case for men, though she grew up playing on teams with boys. The recent demise of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League doesn’t help the situation.

But Beacom has not been discouraged from continuing playing the sport she loves most. “I’d still like to make it a part of my life, maybe getting into coaching or mentoring. It’s definitely something I’d still like to keep up with.”

With a bright future awaiting her at Syracuse University, the Elmira hockey player has plenty to accomplish in the years to come, all based on her love of the game.

“I think it’s just the sport as a whole. The competitive side to it and getting to make a bunch of new friends with teammates – lifelong friends, which is awesome,” said Beacom of what keeps her motivated.

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