8 Wednesday February 10 2016 By JOHN LYNCH For one Yellowknife athlete a dream has come through. Victoria Rankin has recently received notification that she has been accepted for a destination grant at SUNY Oswego State University of New York at Oswego for the next four years. As an athletic re- cruit Rankin has been awarded US8000 for each year she attends this Division III school. Rankin now attends St. Francis Xavier School the Northern X-Treme team based in Edmonton and is a co-captain on her team. I have been working towards this for years Rankin said. My parents are very excited and made a lot of sacrifices to help me achieve this goal. Rankin will conclude her time with the Edmonton team at the end of this season and start at SUNY Oswego in the fall. I have made a lot of close friendships here and it will be hard for me not to see them every second day now Rankin said. How- ever they are going on to bigger and better things too and I am excited for them also. Her teams coach Leah Copeland spoke of Victorias abilities that have led her to this stage in her hockey career. We have had her here for two years now she said. Her maturity leadership qualities work ethic and mentoring skills make other players look up to her. Copeland wanted to be clear about what womens hockey is all about these days. WestartinSeptemberandgountilMarch shesaid.Womenshockeyisequaltothecom- petitivenessofmenshockey.Thegirlssetgoals andhavetoworkveryhardtoaccomplishthem. Excellent news was the word from Sport North executive director Doug Rentmeis- ter when contacted about this news Friday morning. From NWT to NY hockey player NCAA-bound I know her wonderful he said. She will beattendingtheArcticWinterGamesMarch 6-11 in Greenland and playing for the North- west Territories. To the best of my knowledge Ally Simpson is the only other NWT female I know that did this NCAA. Rentmeister said he can speak from per- sonal experience about the commitment from a parents perspective. I had two boys going to Notre Dame well- known Wilcox Sask. hockey academy one for two years and another for four years in the pasthesaid.Ihadtocontributeinmanyways to allow my kids to pursue their dreams. It is no different for any activity or sport to be able to compete at a level we cant offer up North. Rankins father Doug said the family is elated for his daughter. My wife Lou son Mitchell and I are very happy for Victoria he said. She has come a long way through hard work and dedica- tion to her sport. She loved the ice since the first time as an infant we put a pair of bob skates under her feet and set her on the Rae Lakes ice road. Victoria and Mitchell both learned to skate in Gameti on my backyard rinks and on a small ice pad I put in the back room of the grocery store warehouse as there were otherwise no rinks in Gameti. After moving to Yellowknife 10 years ago Rankinquicklyexcelledathockeytothe point where she was able to make the NWT Arctic Winter Games U19 team as a 14-year-old. After moving to British Columbia to attend the Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy four years ago she moved to her current team and is now in Grade 12. So yes lots of sacrifices made by her and her family. We miss her very much when she is away dad said. But she is playing her dream and is off to play NCAA hockey next season and we couldnt be more proud of her. SPORTS RECREATION HOCKEY PhotosDougRankin From left Davina McLeod Victoria Rankin Teal Gonzalez and Shannon Baetz served as Team NWT captains during the 2015 Canada Winter Games. Victoria Rankin leads the rush in a game against Team Yukon in the 2015 CWGs. Victoria Rankin works against a Team Yukon player at the 2015 CWGs.