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She Is Wearing The "C" On Her Jersey

SaultSports.com for local2 sault ste. marie
October 11th, 2012 at 10:17am



HOCKEY GIRL

I have been coaching both boys hockey for 20+ years.

There is no right or wrong answer.

On the ice, there have always been standards for the athletes to follow. These standards range from what type of athletic equipment is not only necessary but appropriate, to who can play when, where, and how. This last standard is the one that is being challenged the most; can girl’s play not only on girl’s teams, but can they also participate in male dominated sports without being taunted?

With her goal to have chance play in the Olympics or to get a scholarship from a university some day, playing boy's hockey for as long as she can is to her advantage, because boy's hockey is much more competitive and physical. She won’t be intimidated by the size and strength of the boys around her because she towers over most of the boys in the league.

Many people say that girls should play with boys up to Pee Wee level, when checking is introduced in youth hockey. The rules are the same, the sport is the same up until that point, so why separate them? At the Pee Wee level and above, some people say that girls who are serious about hockey should stay with boys as long as they can. The level of play is higher, the game is faster, she will develop into a better player.

“Coaches from the girls teams say, ‘Come play with the girls,’ but as long as it’s safe to play with the boys, you will be pushed much harder. “But is their a time when girls should have to go play with the girls.”

It's one thing to be a good team player, but it's another to be a good captain. Few will have the opportunity to feel the weight of the responsibilities and the happiness of knowing you're making a difference. But if you're fortunate enough to find yourself with the honour of being a captain.

She will admit that playing defense is a pressure-filled job on the blueline. But she will never say she couldn't rise to the challenge.

After playing with the Atom Wild Cats for 2 years, she tried out for the Pee Wee Wild Cats and got cut. She decided to return to boy’s hockey last season, 2011-2012 instead of girls house league because it is more competitive. She had so much fun, and the boys treated her like one of the guys, that she wanted to play boys hockey again this season.

She was excited heading into this season, after working hard all summer, doing 4 hockey camps and running/power walking 3 times a week.

After the second practice, her coach told her she was in the running for team captain. She felt she wouldn't get the C because she's only in the dressing 15 minutes prior to game/practice time, and only a short time after.

Prior to our first game of the season, her coach named her captain. He said it was because she's the hardest worker on the team, a smart player and that gender didn't matter. The boy’s congratulated her along with the other parents.

She's so excited, shocked and proud to wear the C on her jersey. Her mother believes that it will also help build her confidence.

"Being one of the only two girls on an all-boy's team puts a lot of pressure on you and that’s what happened to Bethany Tummillo with the Trimline Titans Peewee Major hockey team in the Soo Peewee Hockey League when she was named captain.

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