It is an exciting time for women in sports, with the number of female athletes at the Olympic Games approaching 50 per cent. Here in the Valley, there are two local women’s hockey teams and a 55+ team that open the door for female empowerment through sport.
On Saturday night, the Comox Valley Breakers came together with the 55+ Silver Tsunamis at Glacier Gardens Arena for a great game of hockey. The focus of the game was much less on the colour of their jerseys (or the year they were born), than on encouraging women of all ages to be active, a touch competitive, but primarily supportive of one another.
A study done by the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity showed, if a girl hasn’t participated in sport by the age of 10, there is only a 10 per cent chance that she will be physically active as an adult. Currently, only 16 per cent of adult women report sport participation. Some of the challenges females are faced with are high costs to participate and few perceived financial opportunities for a career as a female athlete, a lack of prominent role models and quality media coverage, and a need for coaches who can support positive sport experiences for girls.
Girls are often discouraged from participating when they feel they lack competence or fundamental sport skills. The Comox Valley Breakers have taken this to heart, opening up their practices to female youth in the Valley that are passionate about hockey. The hope is to encourage the “next generation” of female hockey enthusiasts by supporting them in a diverse, welcoming and fun environment. The offer isn’t limited to youth either; the Breakers encourage all women to participate, even if only learning the sport for the first time as an adult. Christine Moore joined the Breakers as a first-time hockey player, and scored her first career goal at Saturday’s game.
As the Breakers hope to be a positive role model for female youth, the Silver Tsunamis are an exceptional example for all women in hockey that there is no “end” to playing the sport you love. Regardless of the challenges women might face in sport, with passion, determination and a few great teammates, the possibilities are endless.
For more information about upcoming games or how to get involved with women’s hockey in the valley, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or CV Breakers Women’s Hockey on Facebook.