Girls’ hockey has long been a part of the Wallace Minor Hockey program. Each year, more and more girls seem to be registering and each of those girls gets the chance to experience what a season of girls’ hockey is all about. Perhaps one of the first things they learn is that their season will include hockey but also much, much more. After all, the sport hasn’t grown rapidly just because of the hockey.
Female hockey in Canada really launched into new heights in the ‘90s with the increasing prestige and exposure of our Canadian Women’s National Hockey Team. By the late ‘90s, there were posters of a beaming Cassie Campbell in every arena and hockey fans from coast to coast listened for the latest updates on Hayley Wickenheiser’s latest hockey accomplishments. This excitement and popularity had been filtering down through to minor hockey and one day, it seemed as if the floodgates opened and female hockey became the fastest-growing winter sport in the country, growing from 27,000 participants in 1996-97 to over 70,000 participants last year (stats provided by Hockey Canada).
Wallace Minor Hockey has enjoyed its own milestones. Last year, for instance, was the first year the program has hosted a team for Atom-aged (9-10yrs.) girls, and the Bantam and Midget teams had very healthy rosters. The upcoming 2008-2009 season has fantastic possibilities. The program hopes to offer a full complement of teams – Atom, Pee Wee, Bantam and Midget – featuring lots of ice time, lots of team-building and most importantly, lots of fun!
What can girls expect from their season with Wallace? They can expect to have fun and challenging practices, play some great hockey games, have local and distant tournament opportunities, develop a true team spirit and united effort, they’ll develop character and love of both Sports and the effort it takes to improve, and best of all, a season of girls’ hockey will create lifelong friendships and sense of belonging – no matter who you are or where you come from.
A season of girls’ hockey is always a year full of great memories, many laughs, some character-building losses and lots of victorious triumphs. Parents are usually in awe by mid-year at how much the team and their own child has improved and how much fun they have with their team. Evidence of this is shown at the year-end banquet, where parents are quick to notice girls sitting, chatting and giggling with their teammates, then standing proudly side-by-side as their names are called in honour of everything they’ve achieved throughout the year.
So girls, whether you live in Listowel, Wallace or Minto, you are invited to give girls’ hockey a try. If you like to be part of the team, want to improve your skills, make new friends and have a barrel of fun doing it, consider becoming a Wallace Sabre. Registration is open NOW and is due May 15th of this year. Registration forms and more details are available on the Wallace Minor Hockey website at www.wallaceminorhockey.ca. Girls, this is YOUR time to shine and YOUR chance to be a part of something great. After all, someone cheekily once said that hockey is the game invented by boys and perfected by girls.