Jodi Anderson (Neepawa) was recently selected to officiate the upcoming series between Hockey Canada’s National Women’s Team and the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA) All-Star team in Calgary from December 9-11.
Anderson, 21, currently officiates U Sports women’s hockey, the Manitoba Female U18 AAA League, the Manitoba Women’s Junior Hockey League, CSSHL – Female Prep, and U15 AAA. She recently officiated at the 2021 Western Regional Women’s Under-18 Championship in Portage la Prairie.
Anderson is currently a fourth-year student at the University of Winnipeg in the Neuroscience program. She is also a lab instructor at the U of W, teaching two lab sections of neurophysiology.
Hockey Manitoba recently spoke with Anderson about the National Women’s Team/PWHPA All-Star team series, the 2021 Western Regional Women’s U18 Championship, making the transition to officiating U Sports women’s hockey, some of her influences in officiating, her training, and her future goals as an official.
Hockey Manitoba: What does it mean to you personally to be selected to officiate the upcoming series between the National Women’s Team and the PWHPA All-Star team in Calgary?
Jodi Anderson: The selection for me to share the ice with the National Women’s Team and the PWHPA All-Star team is an absolute honour. I am so proud to have the opportunity to represent women in officiating, my hometown of Neepawa, and Hockey Manitoba. I have received incredible support from my fellow officials, mentors, family, friends, and community, and I am so immensely thankful.
Hockey Manitoba: How was your experience officiating at the 2021 Western Regional Women’s U18 Championship in Portage la Prairie?
Jodi Anderson: It was an incredible learning experience for skills and confidence as well as getting to work with women from Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Mentors were integral to how great the tournament was as well as my fellow officials. Everyone was so supportive and just wanted the best for each of us.
Hockey Manitoba: What has it been like making the transition to officiating U Sports?
Jodi Anderson: It’s been a big jump for sure. It’s testing my skills and my confidence and it’s been really great to see hard work paying off and moving up in leagues like that so yeah it’s been really great.
Hockey Manitoba: Who are some of the people that have had the biggest influence on your officiating career?
Jodi Anderson: All of my fellow officials basically. The group of women in the officiating community in Manitoba here are just awesome. Everyone is so supportive and wants everyone to learn and be the best they can be and it’s just so fantastic. Our mentors, Ashley Desjardins and Danielle McGurry, and all of the mentors, they’re just so dedicated to teaching us everything they know and are so dedicated with their time. I owe a lot of it, most of it, all of it to my mentors.
Hockey Manitoba: Hockey Manitoba’s Amy Martin recently officiated the gold medal game at the 2021 Capital City Challenge (a four-team tournament featuring Canada’s National Women’s Team and three men’s under-17 teams) and she will be officiating at the 2022 IIHF World Women’s U18 Championship in January. Is it fair to say she is someone you look up to and that you want to someday follow in her footsteps in terms of what she has been able to accomplish?
Jodi Anderson: Absolutely. Amy Martin is an idol for me. I look up to her. I’ve learned so much from her in all aspects, on the ice, off the ice. She has just been an incredible role model for me and so many people. It’s really great to have someone like her to look up to and strive to be the best I can be to be able to work with her.
Hockey Manitoba: What does your training during the season typically look like?
Jodi Anderson: A big part of it is a good warm-up. Warm-ups before the games to get focused, to get energized, to make sure that I’m as mobile as I can possibly be to be able to make my first stride on the ice be the best it can be. A lot of time is spent with physical conditioning. Weight lifting builds muscle and strength to just be able to have the best fitness I can on the ice because that’s a big aspect of officiating is being able to have that physical ability to keep up and be just as strong as the players.
Hockey Manitoba: How hard is it to balance your officiating duties while also being a student and lab instructor?
Jodi Anderson: It takes a lot of organization to make sure that I am giving my full attention and my best effort to everything in my life. Focusing on my grades and being able to be the best student I can be as well as transitioning to being the best official I can be on the ice. So it takes a lot of organization and mental strength to be able to keep up with everything and a lot of effort goes into that for sure.
Hockey Manitoba: What are some of your future goals as an official?
Jodi Anderson: I am hoping to stay on the ice as long as I possibly can. My goal is just to continue to learn and work on building my skills and hopefully take my career as far as I can. I have a lot of hopes and I would also like to be able to give back to the officiating community any way that I can so I am really hoping to be able to stay involved as much as possibly can going forward.