Hockey Canada pushes for the promotion of women's hockey in Manitoba


Women's hockey in Manitoba is making great strides after Hockey Canada formed a committee of stakeholders to oversee a discussion paper that will guide the organization's strategic plan with the goal of working together to win together.

The Steering Committee was announced at Hockey Canada's Spring Convention here in Winnipeg and will consist of fifteen stakeholders, led by current board member and former Canadian Women's National Team player Gillian Apps.

“Gillian will lead a committee of stakeholders to oversee the development of the national discussion paper and consultation work that will truly result in a blueprint for the future of girls’ soccer here in Canada,” said Jonathan Goldbloom, Chair of the Hockey Canada Board of Directors.

The paper identifies six barriers that must be addressed to advance women's hockey in Canada. The first discussion will take place in July and it is hoped that the paper can be fully published by 2025.

Katherine Henderson, president and CEO of Hockey Canada, says this is critical to the development of the sport.

“We’re really taking a holistic look at everything from pay to facilities to administration to access and all the things that currently prevent women and girls from playing where they want and as much as they want,” Henderson said.

This announcement comes following the conclusion of the PWHL's remarkably successful inaugural season, which generated significant interest in the development of women's hockey across Canada.

“Women’s and girls’ hockey, it’s a very exciting time for us right now,” said Gillian Apps, Hockey Canada board member and NWT alumnus.

Apps, who is a three-time Olympic gold medalist and played 164 games for the Canadian national team, says her goal growing up was to play on the national team, but with the new initiative and success of the PWHL, she believes those goals will change.

“I think right now little girls can grow up and dream about playing in a professional league, pursuing a career as a hockey player and also playing on the national team. So I think it's just a great time for women's and girls' hockey in our country.”