On Sunday, September 30th, the third annual Play Like A Girl event was held at the Revelstoke forum.
“The past two years the event was held on Thanksgiving weekend. This year we decided to do it a week earlier to see if affected the turnout,” says co-event organizer Nadja Luckau.
It did. Nearly 50 women and girls showed up to skate. “It was great. We had adults and kids, girls from the Revelstoke minor hockey league, and mother and daughters skating together,” says Luckau. Players were coached and guided by various members of the Revelstoke women’s team, the Kodiaks.
Play Like A Girl is part of an initiative created by the International Hockey Federation and Hockey Canada to promote and showcase women’s hockey worldwide.
“I had heard about Play Like A Girl,” says Luckau. “It seemed like a really good idea so Nikki Norrie, the other organizer, and myself registered Revelstoke in it.”
“One of the reasons we wanted to do this is because we think it’s really beneficial to show the younger women and girls who are currently playing on mixed teams, often as the only girl or one of two girls on an otherwise all boys team, that other girls play hockey too. That if you love hockey and play hard, when you’re a little older you can maybe travel a little farther to Salmon Arm and play with a higher level girls team,” says Luckau.
The event wouldn’t be possible with all of the volunteers, Luckau points out. Between herself, Norrie, Abbie Vigue, Stephanie Miller, and various Kodiak players, the event ran smoothly and the atmosphere inclusive and fun.
“At the Kodiaks, inclusive and fun is our deal,” Luckau laughs. “We have amazing players who skated at a high level like Stephanie, we have first time skaters, and we have people like me, who didn’t skate growing up but have learned as adults and love it.”
The Kodiaks have drop in practices twice a week where all women are welcome. Throughout the winter they have three tournaments. The first is in Revelstoke, October 12-14th.
The popularity of Play Like A Girl has led Luckau to host a second free event, Saturday October 13th from 11:45-1:15, for female skaters 15 and under. The group will work on drills and have a scrimmage.
“It’s great to see female skaters in Revelstoke,” Luckau says. “We hope to ensure there always will be.”
*photo credit: Allan Weitman