Halifax teams celebrate world girls hockey weekend
HALIFAX – Two atom girls teams kicked off Nova Scotia’s world girls hockey weekend celebrations Saturday morning with a game at the Spryfield Lions rink.
The game was part of a cross-Canada long game, where scores from the first game in Newfoundland rollover to the next game in Nova Scotia and then all the way out to Whitehorse. The Chebucto/Tasa and Beford Blues atom girls’ teams were just a few of the more than 2,000 players and officials participating in the event.
The long game is part of Hockey Canada events marking world girls’ hockey weekend. Led by the International Ice Hockey Federation, the goal is to encourage more girls to play hockey.
Even with Canada’s hockey dominance, parents at the Saturday game said more promotion of girls’ hockey is needed.
“I think it’s really important to encourage girls. We know so many families where the boys play very competitive hockey and they don’t even consider putting the girls in hockey or any sport,” said Carrie MacGillivray, the team manager for the Chebucto/Tasa atom female hockey team.
Despite the women’s team’s dominance on the world stage, girls’ participation in hockey is much lower than boys’. For every five boys playing hockey, there’s one girl on the rink said Joanne Hughes, chair of Hockey Canada’s Female Council.
“There’s a huge discrepancy but the numbers are growing. Female hockey is staying the same or growing whether it’s half a per cent, or one per cent, or three per cent, it’s growing every year.”
Boosting girls’ participation in hockey also means breaking down stereotypes that MacGillivray said still exist.
Her daughter plays for the Chebucto/Tasa.
“We’ve had a couple of dads tell us that she shouldn’t be playing hockey and they shouldn’t let girls play hockey or let girls play with the boys,” said MacGillivray. “Hockey’s a fun team sport, it’s everywhere, it’s part of being Canadian in the winter I think, and I think girls should be a part of that.”
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