By Bre McAdam
In October 2017, 13-year-old Jayda Bryden didn't know what the rest of her ringette season would look like.
The U14AA player for Team Saskatchewan (Regina Rush) broke her ankle playing volleyball and was told she would be out until January — with only two months to prepare for the Western Canadian Ringette Championships in Saskatoon and Warman.
It was devastating news, and Jayda's biggest concern was getting back on the ice as soon as possible. She says the hardest part of her recovery was fear: the fear of re-injuring her ankle, and of being mentally and physically unprepared for westerns.
"I did feel like giving up," Jayda said. "However I knew if I wanted to get back into playing, I would have to push myself to do so."
Jayda went to every game, crutches in tow. She made sure to stay involved by keeping stats for her team. Once her cast came off, she hit the stationary bike to build up her cardio.
After months of physiotherapy and exercises, Jayda returned to the ice in January. And her coach, Donnell Schoenhofen, couldn't be prouder.
"Her return has bolstered our team, not only on the ice but as an example of what a positive attitude and hard work can accomplish. She is a shining example of the strength of character that ringette players posses."
This was also an example of a team supporting a player, Donnell adds. She observed how Jayda's teammates — including her twin sister Rylie — kept Jayda motivated and championed her both on and off the ice.
Jayda agrees her road to recovery had a lot to do with the help she got from her family, teammates and coaches.
"I am so grateful for my ringette family," she says.
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