Jen Loewen

Girls encouraged to get into hockey

A Williams Lake Minor Hockey Association executive member is putting a call out for more girls to get involved in the sport.

A Williams Lake Minor Hockey Association executive member is putting a call out for more girls to get involved in the sport and hopes to have more all-girl teams housed for next year.

Jen Loewen, the WLMHA female co-ordinator, said this past season the association had just a midget female rep team, a peewee girls house team and an atom girls tournament team.

“It’s not easy convincing the parents girls playing with girls is just as good of quality of hockey,” Loewen said. “Until they get to the bantam division there’s hesitation.

“There seems to be a general impression playing in an all-female league would be not as good of competition.”

Two bantam rep players, Brette Kerley and Pyper Alexander, made the decision to play for Prince George’s rep team due to a lack of players in Williams Lake.

“We need to work on bringing more girls into the sport and retaining them,” Loewen said.

To help increase interest, there will be an ESSO Girls Fun Day coming up in April at Total Ice Training Centre.

“We’re looking to bring in players at the younger level,” she said.

“They can try out the sport for free and the gear is all supplied so there’s no cost.

Loewen said she thinks one of the major contributing factors to enrolment decreasing in girls hockey is due to exclusion while playing for co-ed teams.

“They don’t get that team bonding time,” she said. “They’re in a different change room and some don’t believe girls should be playing on a rep team with boys.”

Currently, five girls play for the Williams Lake Peewee Timberwolves rep team including Loewen’s daughter Rachel Loewen, Rylee Pilkington, Danielle O’Hara, Cadence Petit Clerc-Crosby and Keira Vermeulen.

Loewen added she’d like to see numbers increase next year in both house and rep divisions across the board.

The WLMHA’s registration starts in May and Loewen invites anyone interested to attend the association’s AGM coming up on Wednesday, April 19 beginning at 6 p.m. in the Lake City secondary commons area.

For more information on the ESSO Girls Fun Day contact Loewen at sportsmanager@shaw.ca.

So far, the fun day has a tentative date of April 20.

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