CANDID: The Oswald sisters
The Oswald sisters grew up in MacGregor, Man., right between Portage La Prairie and Brandon. They’re roommates, classmates, and linemates on the Bison Women’s Hockey team, which has a great record this year and the sisters are earning some media attention for it. They spend so much time together they occasionally say the same sentences at the same time. UM Today sat down with them to learn more about these student-athletes.
UM Today: Ok, let’s start from the beginning. Who’s the favourite child?
Sheridan Oswald: Me. In some ways I guess.
You’re the younger one right?
Sheridan: I’m the baby, yeah.
Courtlyn Oswald: She’s the more behaved one I’d say. I was a more go-out type of person she was more of a stay-at-home body.
Have you always played hockey together?
Sheridan: We both started boy’s hockey really young, like four.
Courtlyn: I wouldn’t say four. Maybe five or six. We started playing girls hockey together in Atom and then it would rotate: we’d play together one year and then the next year we’d be apart just because of the age gap. Once Sheridan was in Grade 8 and I was in Grade 10 we were on the same team from there on out.
Was it hard to be a girl playing on a boy’s team?
Sheridan: There were always a couple of other girls.
Courtlyn: When we were younger there were more girls but as we got older we were kind of by ourselves. There’s another girl from MacGregor who plays on [University of Regina] that we are pretty close with. She was the age between us. One year I’d play with her, one year Sheridan would play with her.
Did you play a lot of pond hockey in MacGregor?
Sheridan: Our dad would make a backyard rink and we were on that quite a bit.
What are you studying?
Courtlyn: I actually just got into Nursing for the second semester. I was in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Rec Management before, but just made the switch.
Sheridan: I’m in Family Social Sciences right now and I’m hoping to become a teacher.
How did you get interested in those paths?
Sheridan: Our dad is a teacher and I’ve always liked kids, so I just wanted to become a teacher
Courtlyn: I’ve always had a liking towards the medical industry and I thought Nursing would be the best balance with hockey.
How do you find balancing athletics with academics?
Courtlyn: It’s definitely a jump from playing Midget hockey in high school to here. But my semester right now is pretty easy. I feel I am in for a rude awakening next semester. Two girls on the team got into Nursing this semester and they have been studying non-stop.
Sheridan: My first year… it’s been quiet a big difference. I’m definitely busier.
Would you ever drop hockey?
Sheridan: No. I don’t think I could.
Courtlyn: I don’t think I could either. I’d try limiting my schedule first; take fewer classes. I mean we only get five years. I feel like I’d really miss it if I dropped out.
You started the season on different lines but now you’re line mates. Do you prefer being line mates?
Courtlyn: Yeah, just because we have played together for so long.
Who’s the better hockey player?
Sheridan: I think we both have strengths the other doesn’t
Courtlyn: She has a better shot and I’m the better skater
Courtlyn: We’ll go with that. We don’t want to start a fight.
And you also live together?
So you are with each other…
Courtlyn: This semester we are actually in a lot of the same classes too.
So you’re obviously friends too.
A lot of parents struggle to have their kids be friends, like real friends. Did your parents do anything that stands out, or do you think you just both happen to have compatible personalities?
Sheridan: Nothing stands out at the moment.
Courtlyn: She’s just more laid back and goes with whatever I do so it kinda works out that way. And we’ve just been together our whole lives so we’re just kinda used to it. We obviously bump heads but nothing too severe.
Sheridan: We’ll have a big fight but two minutes later it’s nothing.
Courtlyn: We’re talking as usual. There’s just this bounce-back thing.
How did you end up at U of M? Did you look at other universities?
Courtlyn: I looked at others but I wanted to stay close to home.
Sheridan: I had some offers elsewhere but I think just overall, this was the best fit for me.
Courtlyn: She wanted to play with me again too.
Do you have any other hobbies?
Courtlyn: I like to cook. And we played more sports in high school but…
Sheridan: When high school hit we had to decide if we wanted to go further in our hockey career or play everything. And that was when we stopped and just focused on hockey.
Do you have a favourite hockey player?
Sheridan: I like Ovechkin.
Courtlyn: I always rotate between the players. I don’t even know.
Sheridan: You just like the cute ones.
Courtlyn: Yeah, I like Crosby and Seguin, Landeskog. I’m all over the place. I don’t even have a favourite team most of the time, but I do like cheering for the jets.