The Thompson Minor Hockey Association and the Thompson Tigers held an all-girls hockey weekend with an Esso Fun Day session from Jan. 24-26 at the Thompson Regional Community Centre.
Organizer Dayna Waring said the rec centre was abuzz with activity over the three days.
“There’s actually two major events happening,” she said Jan. 25. “This first event is Fun Day, sponsored by Hockey Canada and Esso … it’s run all across Canada. It’s got sponsorship, and the age range is girls from five to ladies. If they want to come and try hockey, they don’t have to be registered in a hockey program or a hockey association. There are no strings attached, but you do need full gear, so for next year we want to build on that very early on … to get equipment [for the participants]. That discouraged a small number from attending today.”
Waring said the Esso Fun Day, which was a part of Saturday’s program, also included a fun skate on Friday evening and pizza party and scavenger hunt.
“That’s one event,” she explained. “The other event being a hockey game that we set up through the whole weekend. It’s 25 bucks. We made it cheap enough that anyone could attend. The 25 bucks covered the free skate last night, hockey games through today, the pizza party and scavenger hunt.”
Waring said the female bantam AAA Norman Wild team attended the event to mentor younger hockey enthusiasts.
“They showed the younger girls the next steps, and how they can progress in hockey,” she explained. “We have girls from Norway House, From Thompson, The Pas, Flin Flon, and Cross Lake all on that team. They travelled in today.”
Waring said the all-girls weekend empowered and encouraged girls in sport.
“It brings teamwork and some confidence-building,” she said. “We have mostly female coaches on the ice this weekend and even dads who have girls in hockey. It’s a fun environment, and what we’ve found, and what we are seeing so far, is that no one has come off the ice crying, and everybody who left had a blast. People who came out last night said, ‘I can’t wait to come tomorrow.’ We have girls who are saying they want to join hockey.”