Anisha Romany, originally from Trinidad from Tobago, found a love for hockey at St. Thomas that has made her feel at home in Canada.
It began during her first week on campus, when Romany walked into the communal kitchen in Vanier Hall to find two housemates cooking up a dish that was as unfamiliar to her as her new surroundings.
"I walked up to them and asked what they were making," Romany said. "They told me Kraft Dinner, but I had never seen Kraft Dinner before so I had no idea what it was. They were shocked."
The two students cooking were Emily Oleksuk and Paige Jackson, now second-year members of the STU women's hockey team. After meeting Romany—and introducing her to Kraft Dinner—they invited her to their next game.
"That game was the first time I'd ever seen hockey or been to a rink. My mind was blown," Romany said. "We don't see hockey back home, so the STU women's team is the first hockey team I ever saw play. I formed that connection and fell in love with it."
Romany decided to keep cheering the Tommies on. Game after game she was at the rink, and one by one she met all the members of the team.
Now, Romany is one of the Tommies' most loyal fans. She attends every home game and watches the road games online. In recognition of her support for the team, the Tommies presented her with her own St. Thomas jersey.
She said attending games and developing a relationship with the team helps her feel connected to Canadian culture.
"It's a very important part of the exposure I had to Canada. Something as great as hockey, which a lot of Canadians identify with, became important to me and I'm really appreciative of it."
The Tommies hockey team has been one of the best in the Atlantic University Sport conference the last two seasons, and following their progress has been one of the highlights of Romany's time at St. Thomas.
"Seeing the progress the team has made has been huge for me," she said. "They've been incredibly supportive of me as I am of them."
Getting Involved in the STU Community
Since arriving on campus, Romany has become engaged in the STU community. She's been a part of the Student's Union, Campus Ministry, Theatre St. Thomas, the STU Cares Day of Action, and her House Committee. She's also been competing as a thrower for the Tommies track and field team.
After she completes her honours in Spanish and major in Fine Arts, Romany plans to pursue an Education degree. When she returns to Trinidad and Tobago she hopes to get a throwing group started and undoubtedly continue following her favourite hockey team—the STU Tommies.