The Dream Gap Tour is announced by the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association02 de Septiembre de 2019 a las 15:04
Article and photos courtesy of Victoria Bach
Exclusive to La Portada Canada and BarnBurner.ca
Toronto. – It was the morning of March 31st a phone call none of us will forget. It was a Sunday night when we got an email to join a call with all the members of the CWHL. With high hopes ahead of us from the successful season we had we were hoping for some exciting news, however, this was not the case. On this day we were told that the Canadian Women’s Hockey League would discontinue operations. All of us were in complete shock, players have worked their entire lives to get to this point and play professional hockey and for us to find out that all of us were now without a league was heartbreaking. This past year I had the opportunity to play in the CWHL with the Markham Thunder. One of the most memorable years of my life. I got to play along some of the best talent in the world every day. The year went by too quick, going to the rink every day after long days of training and for most girl’s work was always hard but getting to lace them up to play the sport we love is why we do it. I ended up having a great year with the Thunder and took home rookie of the year. For me though what I thought was the beginning of a professional career came to an end. Ever since I was 8 years old, I fell in love with the game of hockey. A sport I eat, breathe, sleep. One where I met some of my best friends have the most memories, and most of all the place that feels like home ... the ice.
Young boys at the age of 2 grow up and say they want to play in the NHL when they are older. They have dreams of wearing that NHL jersey and scoring a big goal in front of thousands of fans. They dream about it because they can. All of us young girls do not have this opportunity, just yet. 200 of the worlds best have come together as one to help inspire and create a sustainable professional league for Women’s Hockey. One in which we deserve. We work tirelessly every day to achieve our goals of being professional athletes and its time we go out together as one and create an opportunity for the future of women’s hockey.
We have all accomplished so much, and there is no greater accomplishment than what we have the potential to do right now as players. Not just for this generation, but for many generations to come. We may represent different teams, leagues and countries- but this sport is one family. And this is now time for this family unite. This is the moment we’ve been waiting for – our moment to come together and say we deserve more. It’s time for a long-term viable professional league that will showcase the greatest product of women’s professional hockey. With the help of many highly touted individuals, we have created the formation of the PWHPA (Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association) which will help us players coordinate training needs and opportunities and develop support from sponsors. On August 28th, we announced the “Dream Gap Tour” that will descend upon several cities in Canada and the United States. All of us are very excited about this opportunity to help inspire, empower and LEAD. This tour will allow us to be involved with the community and showcase our talent to the world.
It would be a dream of mine to wake up every day and get to play the sport I love for a living. A lot of us girls work 9-5 jobs and must come to the rink after a long day and try and perform at our best. We don’t get health care, or by any means ways to help us get ahead as professional athletes. The other day I was at the arena training and a young girl’s team was on after. They all stopped when they were walking by the arena when they saw us training and were so excited. They waited to get changed until they could get a picture of us and get autographs. It is young players like this that we want to see them have the ability to grow up and play the sport they love every day. I know we have some work ahead, but we are excited about this opportunity we have been challenged with. We, however, cannot do this on our own, we need our fans, sponsors, our supporters, followers of sports, men and women, boys and girls, to all come together and join this family in the fight to create a future for the generation of women’s hockey.
For more information and to learn more about the PWHPA please visit www.pwhpa.com or follow us on social media @pwhpa. It’s our time, let’s make this happen!