The Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) is a “premier, professionally-run women’s hockey league … centrally funded, with all participating teams in the CWHL receiving equal access to financial support and given the same opportunities to succeed. The CWHL is a not-for-profit organization, with every dollar going towards building a league that is dedicated to raising the profile of women’s hockey, providing a place for the best female players in the world to compete and inspiring the next generation of female hockey heroines” (cwhl.ca).
On Saturday, January 23, 2016 the league is hosting the annual CWHL All-Star Game! All proceeds from the event go to the development of the league. Game is at 1pm at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto … exciting. To purchase tickets go here.
The Globe and Mail has recently been featuring interviews and profiles of the CWHL, which is unusual for a mainstream paper. Typically there are fringe articles about women in sport tucked in the back pages. So it was a great surprise to see The Globe post “CWHL’s Japanese skaters driven by passion for Olympic hockey podium” front and center on their website this week. The article is very insightful, and highlights the intense sacrifice and class/cultural differences that exist between women’s and men’s hockey, as through the story of Sena Suzuki.
Other interesting reads: Interview with Hayley Wickenheiser, six time Olympian and trailblazer for women’s hockey, and Interview with Brenda Andress, motivational speaker and founder and commissioner of the CWHL. The league is making a concerted effort to grow the sport and make visible the talent of women players. But they can’t do this alone, the public needs to make an effort to support the league … which is where you come in – talk up the league, post on social media: go see games. It’s that simple.
As part of my reading escapade, I’ve been feverishly reading through Boy On Ice by John Branch, an award-winning sports journalist for the New York Times.
Boy On Ice chronicles the hockey career of Derek Boogaard, an awkward, shy, marginally talented kid from Saskatchewan who, because of his strength and size, was drafted into the NHL as an enforcer. This role, the horrific injuries that accumulated during on-ice fights, and the negligence displayed by NHL staff, led to his self-medication with, and addiction to, prescription drugs. In 2011, a year after signing with the New York Rangers, Boogaard overdosed on a combination of drugs and alcohol – he was 28. His family was devastated and in 2013 filed a lawsuit against the NHL. Just last year, charges were laid in connection with Boogaard’s death.
The book uses Boogaard’s life story as a case study of what can commonly happen to enforcers in the NHL. Branch integrates interviews with family, former teammates and enforcers, as well as history about the role of fighting and violence in professional hockey that has made “the enforcer” a peculiar, misunderstood, dangerous and tragic role.
An essential read for hockey fans or anyone who views sports through a critical and complex lense.
Starting in January 2015, the City of Toronto, in partnership with the Coaches Association of Ontario and other Provincial Sport Organizations, will offer community level coach training to Toronto residents aged 16 years and older.
Space is limited so definitely register early.
To browse the course listings, click here. Note, the courses are listed under: Coach Training – Fundamental Movement Skills Coach Training – Sports Specific