The Colorado Avalanche are committed to growing the game of Hockey and making the sport more diverse at all levels of the game. The Avalanche have several active initiatives this season to help promote the game of Hockey and to help promote different opportunities for women and girls to get involved. On March 2 and 3, the Avs hosted the first ever Female Only – Level I Coaching Certification class hosted by USA Hockey to kick off Women’s History Month. The Colorado Avalanche, with support from the NHL/NHLPA Industry Growth Fund (IGF) teamed up to help grow and develop female presence in the state of Colorado. The Colorado Avalanche also hosted a Girls Hockey Coaching Q&A back in the fall where directors and coaches had the opportunity to voice and discuss the needed growth for girls and women hockey in Colorado.

One main element that majority of coaches and directors found missing was the lack of women in the Coaching realm. Cali Gonzalez, a former player, participated in the clinic and discussed why it’s important to her to be involved in this initiative. “I think it is awesome to see the steps being taken to get more females involved with hockey. Especially growing up I only ever had male coaches and I think having a strong female role model from a young age is extremely important for the development of these young women.”

The Avs are committed to working in the community to support diverse representation in Hockey. This clinic was paid for by the Colorado Avalanche and NHL/NHLPA IGF funds. Women were able to get Level I Certified free of cost to them from the comfort of their house through Zoom. In total, 50 women had the opportunity to get their certification free of cost to them. Cali strives to out this certification to work immediately! She said, “I will be the assistant coach for the spring development season at the Colorado 14ers for the u14 girls. I plan to pursue further certifications to continue and grow my coaching career.”