When my second daughter was born, I knew my family was complete. I always wanted to have a daughter and I was blessed with two. I pictured frilly dresses and makeup, tea parties and dancing. I certainly have had my fair share of all that in the 12.5 years I have been a Mom.
But what I didn’t picture was hockey skates, smelly gear and hours spent at cold, cold rinks.
I didn’t know that my youngest daughter, Maddie, would be a lover of hockey.
I didn’t know that she’d prefer hockey jackets and helmets over dresses and fancy shoes.
I didn’t know that she’d want to grow up to be a hockey star like Hayley Wickenheiser, Meaghan Mikkelson and, of course, Sidney Crosby.
But what I REALLY didn’t know is how much her father and I would love the game and being parents of a girl in hockey.
Now I do.
Maddie has played hockey for four years with the last two spent on an all girls team. Over the years, she has learned the importance of working as a team, playing hard and following the rules of the game. These are all lessons that don’t stop when she steps off the ice, these are virtues that will guide her for many years to come.
I asked Maddie why she likes hockey, this was her response:
Why do I like hockey? I like how you get to work hard. I like being part of a team because you work together and you feel like you’re one big family. We have lots of fun in the locker room together listening to music and bonding. Our coaches are great. They encourage us to do our best and whenever we make a mistake they tell us how to do better next time. They are so happy when we get goals but are just as happy when we don’t.
Last summer, Maddie was lucky to be chosen to attend the inaugural Sidney Crosby Hockey School. It was an experience she (and we) will never forget. She learned hockey skills, sure. But most importantly, she learned that hockey is not the most important thing in the world. Crosby spoke to the kids about the importance of being a well-rounded athlete and person. Her days were spent with her peers learning lessons on and off the ice.
During the hockey school, I had the chance to chat with Sidney’s mother. She also has a daughter (Taylor) who plays hockey and Mrs. Crosby spoke very highly of girls playing together and the importance of the team bonding on the ice and in the dressing room.
Next on Maddie’s hockey bucket list is to someday attend the Canadian Tire Wickenheiser Female World Hockey Festival (#CTWickFest), an annual hockey festival set up by Canadian Olympian Hayley Wickenheiser. Hayley is a member of the Canada women’s national ice hockey team and has represented Canada at the Winter Olympics five times, capturing four gold and one silver medal. She has the most gold medals of any Canadian Olympian and is widely considered the greatest female ice hockey player in the world!
Wickfest draws teams from across Canada for seminars, workshops and a friendly tournament. This year, it takes place in Calgary Nov. 26-29, 2015. The festival is sold out for 2015 with 2,000 female players from 8-18 years old. This is the 6th year of the event and Canadian Tire’s 3rd year as title sponsor.
What a girls weekend that would be to spend your days learning from amazing role models like Hayley, her teammate Meaghan Mikkelson and others.
Just what we need, another weekend spent at the rink!
Honestly, we wouldn’t mind it. That’s what hockey parents do right?
See you at the rink!
Hayley Wickenheiser is also a Canadian Tire Jumpstart Ambassador. Canadian Tire is a big supporter of women’s hockey and is a presenting sponsor of Wickfest and will be hosting a twitter party to help launch the event.
Join Hayley and Meaghan for the #WeAllPlay Twitter Party on November 25th at 8:00 pm (Eastern time).
Anyone can participate but only Canadians can win prizes, excluding those in the province of Quebec.