On Sunday, May 11, the Toronto Maple Leafs hosted their third annual Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest at MasterCard Centre giving over 350 female hockey players the chance to learn from Olympic gold medalists and Canadian women’s hockey stars Sami Jo Small, Vicky Sunohara and members of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL)
2014 Clarkson Cup champions Toronto Furies
Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest Toronto was free to all participants and offered girls the opportunity to improve their on and off-ice hockey skills with coaching from some of the best female hockey players in the world and influential female athletes from Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE). This program was open to girls aged 7-12 from three levels of minor hockey, novice, atom and peewee. This year, registration reached full capacity in a record setting time of 24 hours.
The day featured a community session led by the MLSE Foundation, teaching participants about the importance of giving back to the community, and a keynote address from Sami Jo Small and Vicky Sunohara on the importance of being part of a team and the hard work, dedication and determination that helped them reach their goals both on and off the ice.
“I have always enjoyed being part of the Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest events and am thrilled the event has returned to help encourage so many young girls to keep playing hockey,” said Sami Jo Small, Scotiabank Hockey Ambassador and Toronto Furies goalie. “When I started playing, these types of opportunities didn’t exist for female athletes, so this event is really a great opportunity for these girls to come together to celebrate hockey and learn skills they can take with them throughout their lives.”
“The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Marlies are so proud to partner with Scotiabank to provide young females with such an incredible hockey development program,” said Maple Leafs Vice-President of Hockey Operations, Dave Poulin. “The sport is growing significantly in the female demographic and as a hockey organization we want to make sure that girls have equal opportunities to succeed and develop that young males do.”
Over the last decade, sport has increasingly been used as a tool for empowering girls. Participation in sport and other physical activities that promote fitness and leadership, such as hockey, challenges and expands norms that have previously limited girls and women. The Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest follows the Toronto Marlies 4th Annual Women’s Hockey Day in January 2014 and builds on the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Marlies and Toronto Furies goal of providing experiences that empower girls and young women through hockey to inspire and develop future leaders.
All Toronto Maple Leafs Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest participants received a complimentary pair of Toronto Marlies playoff tickets to Game 4 on Friday, May 16, 2014 where members of the CWHL 2014 Clarkson Cup champions Toronto Furies will also be in attendance to sign autographs and photo opportunities.
For Toronto Marlies playoff tickets, please visit www.marlies.ca.
To learn more about Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest, please visit www.scotiabankgirlshockeyfest.com.
To learn more about the Toronto Furies, please visit www.toronto.cwhl.ca.