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Storm brewing opportunities for female hockey players in the Peace Country

All-female hockey opportunities have increased in the region with the announcement of two spring development programs.

The first program is through the Grande Prairie Storm Organization. Storm Executive Director Nicole Menzies says traditionally in the past the organization will offer spring hockey to the community and will have several mixed teams involved in the program. This year is expected to be no different with 10 mixed teams planned for the program, however, what they are seeing is a demand for all-female hockey opportunities.

“We have an incredibly dedicated junior Storm committee – and they really heard from parents and players that people would really like an opportunity for all-female spring hockey,” Menzies says. “So this year the Storm is really excited to offer four levels of competitive all-female teams.”

Along with the spring teams, the organization is also putting on a five-week skills development program for those players who either didn’t make one of the competitive spring teams or who are just wanting to sharpen their skills on the ice. Menzies says at the community level the Grande Prairie region has done a great job at supporting and encouraging female hockey. The goal moving forward is to keep these players in the sport they love and develop their skills.

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“The stats show that girls leave the sport at a much more significant rate than boys do. So I think hockey organizations are really tuning in and kind of listening to what the needs of the players are and what they are looking for.”

The competitive program could see some of the Junior A players come to ice times and be part of programs.

“It’s not just a separate program that’s run, it’s something that the players do have a touch on, which is nice to bring it all together,” Menzies says.

Along with the Storm program, the Sexsmith Minor Hockey league is also hosting an all-female hockey day at the end of March. The female hockey event will take place on March 26th from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Sexsmith arena.

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