Thanks to Lake Cowichan and District Minor Hockey Association’s Female Development and Coordination program, girl’s participation in hockey continues to rise in Lake Cowichan.
In its second season, the program is geared towards getting girls excited about and involved with hockey.
Although the program is not a team and does not play in league, the girls were split in half and played against each other during the Minor Hockey Jamboree on Jan. 21 at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena.
It was the first time the program had played a game in front of a live audience.
Initiation manager Sally Brown is extremely pleased such a program has been put in place.
“I think it’s fantastic that they are doing it. I have two daughters on the team and their skills have both come up incredibly since they’ve been playing,” said Brown.
Brown’s daughter oldest daughter Brooklyn plays at the atom level and her youngest Sara is on the Lakers initiation team.
Bantam Lakers’ head coach Calvin Convery also agreed that the Female Development and Coordination program is an overly positive thing.
“It’s great. It’s an obvious sign that there are girls out there that want to play hockey. It’s something we should have had 10 years ago. I think it’s awesome,” said Convery.
Sherri Atchison’s daughter Isabella plays for the White Team of the initiation league but also participates in the Female Development and Coordination program. It brought a smile to her face to watch the girls play amongst each other.
“Having the female development is fantastic. I wish they had this when my oldest daughter Katelyn was younger. To have it now is really great,” said Atchison.
Atchison enjoys watching the mix of ages participate in the Female Development and Coordination program.
“Having the younger girls play with the older girls is neat. They just feed off of each other and help and encourage each other,” she said.
Atchison thought that having an all-girls atmosphere really gives girls’ just starting the game the extra push they need to get going.
“It’s a great, relaxing program and it’s a lot of fun,” added Atchison.
Atchison’s daughter Isabella loves the program.
“She’s always excited about it.”
C2 pee wee Lakers head coach Greg Clayton is responsible for pioneering the program but was unavailable for comment during the Minor Hockey Jamboree.
CORRECTION: The Lake Cowichan Gazette wishes to apologize to Sally Brown and Jackie Cummings for the original error in the print version of this article. It has since been corrected.