On Saturday, the Air Canada Centre hosted the first ever Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) All-Star Game, and it was amazing (pictures below). The energy, the players, the crowd – all phenomenal. And this happened at the beginning: Best Face-Off Ever! Did you know that former Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion played professional women’s hockey in the late 1920s?
CWHL Commissioner Brenda Andress summed it up best about the All-Star Game: “Today’s game will showcase the skill, speed and finesse that makes women’s hockey the best entertainment on the planet. We are thrilled to see the stands filled with the next generation of CWHL players, aspiring Olympians, recreational players and fans who simply love this game”. Indeed – the event truly reflected this statement, and I could tell the CWHL was appealing to future players in particular. If women, girls and transgender athletes had more access to recreational and elite programs, could see their mentors on television and in-person, could earn a living off of playing professional sports, the future of sports would look very different. I eagerly await this shift in the way we treat women, girls and transgender athletes in all areas of sport.
In the meantime, I am planning a trip to see the Toronto Furies with friends sometime in the new year – can’t wait. For those of you interested in seeing what the CWHL is about, I suggest attending the Clarkson Cup in March 2015 as it will recognize the top women’s hockey team in the CWHL, and showcase all five CWHL teams in one grand tournament…fun.