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All-girls hockey tournament organizer hoping to convince girls to stick with the sport

Organizers of an upcoming girls hockey event are hoping to get and keep the next generation of female players interested in the sport.

Registration is still open for the first-ever Marj McAusland Memorial Girls Hockey Jamboree taking place this October. Peace Country Female Hockey League President Stacie Costello says the jamboree, open to girls ages seven to 12, has around 31 players registered so far for the one-day event but are still looking for more.

“For $40 dollars the kids that register, they get one on-ice session, two off-ice sessions that are being run at the Eastlink Centre, a classroom session where we have a couple of speakers and then a lunch and we’re giving them a big swag bag.”

Costello says the tournament was created to honour a local hockey advocate in McAusland who was the director on both the Grovedale and Grande Prairie Minor Hockey Associations and the first woman to be selected as a Commissioner on Grande Prairie’s Minor Hockey Association, among other things.

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After she passed away in 2017, Costello says they thought about starting a scholarship in her name but decided to hold a girls tournament instead in the hopes of growing the next generation of local female hockey players which she adds can be hard in rural areas.

“When your young and play in a rural area you’re more than likely one of the only girls on your team so you don’t really know what it’s like to play and be involved just with a whole group of girls. This kind of picks the girls away from the boys’ teams just for one day to see what it’s like just to hang out with girls.”

Costello says a maximum of 50 girls can sign up for the event. Anyone interested in signing up their child can email [email protected]. The event will be held on October 26th at the Coca-Cola Centre in Grande Prairie.

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