A daughter’s request to her father to play ringette ended up becoming the start of a new girls hockey program in Saskatchewan.
Shaun Piller said they were on their way to a hockey tournament when his daughter had a thought.
“I think it was the final hockey tournament of the year, and she said ‘Dad, I would like to play ringette next year,'” Piller said.
He said it got him thinking and he asked his daughter why.
“She said, ‘it’s all-girls isn’t it?’ I said ‘yes it definitely is,'” he said.
Piller said he then brought up the idea of her playing hockey instead.
“She seemed really into that.”
To make that happen, Piller had to find more girls to play hockey. That led to Piller starting a campaign with neighbouring communities to help increase the numbers.
He and the other volunteers also started recruiting and in the end, their numbers went from 12 to 70.
“A lot of phone calls a lot of conversations, a lot of going to other communities and associations trying to find different females in different age groups,” Piller said.
“It’s getting easier now that we have our program established. The conversations are getting shorter and we have people calling us to play for the Lumsden Lynx.”
Now the Lynx coach and organizer has taken it a step further. He is bringing the different Lynx teams together under the Lynx Mentorship Program.
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This involves older girls going back to the younger teams and to help with coaching.
“It’s going in the right direction right now, the program is growing and we want to make it so its sustainable,” Piller said.
“When these girls get to a certain age, they can look back and see what they have done for Lumsden and hopefully some of their kids can get to play in this program when they to a certain age.”