Beaverlodge Girls Hockey is focusing on continuing to grow and develop their program and players with the support of $20,000 from Hockey Alberta’s Member Grant program.
President Beaverlodge Girls Hockey, Christy Martin, says they are seeing and hearing from the provincial hockey organization that they are emphasizing the female-focused programs and their longevity as they grow in popularity and the girls have fun.
“That is the purpose of the sport: to have fun; they definitely want the competitiveness, but our main focus is making sure the girls are having fun on the bench.”
One of the significant differences between the girl’s hockey program and the mainstream hockey program is the players are not separated until 10 minutes before the game or practice; they are in the dressing room and part of the team from the jump.
Last year, Beaverlodge Girls Hockey held different programs to give girls the chance to try the all-female team experience, and Martin says afterwards they received numerous positive messages from parents and guardians. She says Beaverlodge girl’s hockey added 27 new players for the 2023 – 2024 season, which is a 40 per cent growth for the organization, and now has four teams, with players coming from not just Beaverlodge but also the surrounding communities.
“This year, we formed a team for the U11 age group, which comprises 9- and 10-year-olds, and they were all brand new to girls’ hockey in Beaverlodge.”
Martin says the hope is the interest in girls’ hockey continues, and the program can grow across the Peace Country.