New Rink Hosts World Girls' Hockey Day Events

By  on September 30, 2011

By Laurence Heinen /

WinSport Canada’s new international-sized rink will play host to a full slate of activities as part of World Girls’ Hockey Day on Oct. 2.

The 3,500-seat arena is part of the Athletic and Ice Complex at Canada Olympic Park and will be home to Hockey Canada starting in mid-October.

World Girls’ Hockey Day was created by the International Ice Hockey Federation as part of its initiative to help grow the women’s game.

“The IIHF wanted to pick one weekend to target for Girls’ Hockey Day just to promote and celebrate the game around the world to help other countries create opportunities for girls to try hockey,” said Trina Radcliffe, manager of female hockey development with Hockey Canada. “World Girls’ Hockey Day is a way to show our support for and make sure we continue our involvement in the growth of the women’s game.”

The event will get started bright and early with registration for Esso Fun Days at 7:30 a.m. followed by an on-ice session from 8:15-9:15 a.m. and an off-ice activity from 9:30-10:30 a.m.

“It’s been our No. 1 recruitment program because it gives the girls the opportunity to give hockey a try,” said Radcliffe. “It’s just all about fun. It’s all for beginners, so they don’t have to be threatened about maybe not being able to skate really well or if they’ve never handled the puck. It just really gives them the opportunity to give it a try for free.”

A peewee skills session will start at 9:30 a.m. followed by a novice/atom skills session at 10:45 a.m.

“We’re going to have a variety of local female instructors from here in Calgary,” said Radcliffe, who will take to the ice along with some University of Calgary players and some members of the Alberta Canadian Women’s Hockey League team.

The Alberta CWHL squad will then play an exhibition game against Warner School with the puck slated to drop at noon.

“Alberta has put a team into that league for the first time,” said Radcliffe, adding that Canadian National Women’s Team defenders Bobbi-Jo Slusar and Meaghan Mikkelson will suit up for the Alberta CWHL squad. “They’re just kicking off their season and they thought it would be a great tie-in with World Girls’ Hockey Day to have an exhibition game out there on the same day.”

One lucky girl who takes part in the peewee skills session will get to take part in the Experience the Dream program and take part in the on-ice warm-up and stay out for the national anthem.

During the first intermission, participants in the novice/atom skills session will be split into two teams and will play in a Team Canada mini-game.

“Some of the Alberta team is going to stick around and hopefully sign a few autographs,” Radcliffe noted.

While World Girls’ Hockey Day will introduce girls to hockey in a positive, fun and save environment, it also promotes fair play, sportsmanship, teamwork and making new friends while playing hockey.

“It really is to promote and to give the girls the opportunity to try hockey, so we really wanted to challenge our branches to come up with creative ways to make that happen,” Radcliffe said.

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September 30, 2011
Categories:  Female

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