RED DEER – This month’s Alumni Spotlight focuses on Rhianna Kurio, formerly of the Bowness Bruins.
Rhianna began playing hockey when she was 4-5 years old. Her father, who still plays hockey, was her biggest influence for why she got involved in the game. He was her coach as a young player and has been her biggest supporter throughout her hockey career. In the offseason, Rhianna would spend her summers on the golf course.
Rhianna played her U18 AAA hockey with Girls Hockey Calgary’s Bowness Bruins of the AMMFHL and graduated from the National Sports Academy at Central Memorial High School in 2009. In her final season, she was named an AMMFHL All-Star and awarded the league’s Most Sportsmanlike Player. Upon her graduation, she moved on to play four seasons of NCAA Div. 1 hockey with Union College, including one year as captain. Rhianna began her professional career with the Calgary Inferno (CWHL) in 2013-14 and would continue to play with the team for five more seasons. She is currently set to play in the PWHPA Secret Dream Gap Tour Showcase on May 24-30 with Team Scotiabank (Calgary Region).
“(Minor hockey) helped me develop the basic skills and understanding of the game required for playing at a higher level,” said Rhianna.
As a homegrown Calgarian, Rhianna’s most fond memory of playing hockey in Alberta is playing in the Mac’s Midget Tournament, where she was named as a second team all-star in 2008.
Hockey has had a huge impact on Rhianna, and she is still playing professionally to this day. The game has given her the opportunity to travel around the world, get an education in the U.S., and build her career as a Physiotherapist.
“My favourite thing about playing hockey is all the great friendships you make, and all the opportunities it can bring on and off the ice,” said Rhianna. “As a young player, don’t be afraid to fail or make mistakes and have fun.”
You can catch Rhianna playing with Team Scotiabank at the PWHPA Secret Dream Gap Tour, which takes place on May 24-30 and will be broadcasted on Sportsnet.