Beyond hockey, a humanitarian

Sidney Peters poses with some girls she helped coach.

Although her teammates would roll her eyes at her, Sidney Peters was fond of dropping her pet phrase, “Hockey is not your identity.”

Peters certainly took that to heart. In her freshman year, when she was redshirting for the Gopher hockey team and feeling a little bit out of place, she constructed an identity around quietly serving others. That ethos was recently stamped with a huge honor when Peters was bestowed the national Hockey Humanitarian Award—presented to her during the NCAA Men’s Frozen Four.

The award is given each year to college hockey's finest citizen —a student-athlete who makes significant contributions not only to his or her team, but also to the community-at-large through leadership in volunteerism.

Peters, who earned her degree in kinesiology through the U of M’s College of Education and Human Development, meets those criteria and then some.

Over her five years at the University of Minnesota she volunteered more than 800 hours, which translates to approximately four 40-hour weeks per year. She’s given her time to the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, HopeKids, Special Olympics Minnesota, local elementary and middle schools, and youth hockey associations. She was also an EMT with the U of M’s Emergency Medical Services, and provided medical care at a Haiti hospital two summers ago. 

All that while preparing for medical school and pursuing a little side gig as the goaltender for the perennial powerhouse Golden Gophers.

She’s not done yet. On the same day Peters was presented with the award she found out she was accepted into medical school at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, MD, where she’ll become a physician as part of the U.S. Air Force. She’ll commit to the Air Force for another seven years beyond her medical training.

“I didn’t want to fall into the trap of working just to make a lot of money,” Peters says. “I wanted to feel that my career was about other people.”
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities