U of T Engineering Student –Athlete Spotlight: Sarah Esmail and Erica Voss

Erica Voss

Erica Voss (right) at 2017 World Ringette Championships (Credit: Andre Vandal/Ringette Canada).

Two MIE undergrads skate their way to the World Ringette Championships for the second time.

In 2016, Sarah Esmail (Year 3 IndE) and Erica Voss (Year 3 MechE) travelled to Helsinki, Finland to compete in the World Ringette Championships. Last December, the undergrads hit the ice again a little closer to home. Teams from five countries descended upon Mississauga for the chance to represent their countries in the 2017 tournament.

Born in Stockholm, Sweden, Sarah Esmail was drafted to Sweden’s national team in 2013. The centre/forward scored two hat tricks during the tournament and was named tournament MVP for Team Sweden. Team Sweden would take gold in the President’s Pool.

“Being able to play at the highest level of ringette and representing Sweden at the World Championships has been an incredible experience,” said Esmail. “As a kid, I remember travelling to Ottawa with my father to watch my first world championship. Sweden beat the U.S. team in the bronze medal game. It was Sweden’s first medal in ringette. To compete with this team ten years later and bring back medals two world championships in a row is an amazing feeling.”

A fifteen-year veteran of the sport, Voss has played defense for Team Canada in two World Championships – playing for U21 Team Canada in 2016 and Senior Team Canada in 2017. Team Canada won silver in the Senior Pool.

Playing close to home was a special experience for Voss. “It was pretty special to get the opportunity to represent my country on home ice in front of old coaches, camp counsellors and all my family members,” she said.

Both undergrads are currently on their Professional Experience Year (PEY) internship.

When asked how they manage high-level athletics and a rigorous curriculum, Voss said, “It’s tough and I’m always busy, but it’s totally worth it. The fact is that you’re not always going to want to go to the gym and you’re not always going to want to study, but you know that if you put in the work, you can be successful.”

Team Sweden’s Sarah Esmail (right) in action in a game against Team USA. (Credit: Sarah Esmail)

Esmail finds it’s important to create a weekly schedule that encompasses her sport, work and school commitments. “With a detailed schedule in mind, it is easy to stick to it and re-evaluate it daily,”she said.

The next World Ringette Championships will be held in 2019.