Female Hockey Program
For the 2017/2018 we are pleased to announce Whitemud West will introduce a female focused hockey program. We will be the first Edmonton operating area to introduce a female program and we’re excited about the upcoming season. Female hockey has been played for more than 100 years. Since 1990, female hockey has grown exponentially making it one of the fastest growing sports in the world. There is a tremendous opportunity for us to build upon the female centric strategies that Hockey Canada and Hockey Alberta have recently established. The key part of enabling a successful program is leveraging the scales of economy that Whitemud West offers as far as resources, structure, and facilitation. The ability to immediately adopt proven processes and current development partnerships will help differentiate our program.
In the month of June, to coincide with registration, we plan on hosting an open house and development camp to launch our program. It’ll be an excellent opportunity to have your questions addressed, while the girls in our membership participate in an on ice session with our development partners, Quantum Speed. Registration for the on ice session is now available here: Female Hockey Program Open House - On Ice Registration
Here are a few questions that we anticipate about the program:
Q. Does my child have to play with the girls or can she play co-ed?
A. We will offer both options to our female players as there are benefits to both. Here are some of the benefits of an all-girls’ team:
- Playing with female peers may be important for many young girls to feel like they fit in. In a 2005 study conducted by USA Hockey 73% of girls who were playing on a girls’ team cite friendships, bonding, camaraderie, and not being “different” as the thing they liked best about playing for a girls’ team. The same study revealed that of the 79% of girls wanting to quit the sport were playing boys’ hockey.
- Opportunities to take on a leadership role within the team may be more prominent on an all-girls team rather than playing with boys.
- From a long term athletic development perspective, females develop at a different rate than boys, a program tailored to female development milestones is important
- USA Hockey provides some excellent information and analysis on this topic: Should my daughter play for a girls’ team or a boys’ team?
- The North Shore Girls Program (Vancouver) provides this perspective: Girls’ or Boys’?
- The Webster Youth Hockey Girls Program (New York) provides this perspective: Girls’ Hockey or Boys’ Hockey? The Choice For Girls Who Play Hockey
Q. What age categories are you considering?
A. Although it’s dependent on the number of registrants we get we’ll look to group girls together in Discovery, Timbits, Novice, and Atom.
Q. Will there be evaluations?
A. Similar to our current programs, evaluations will take place for categories starting at Novice (ages 7-8) and up. An expression of interest in playing girls’ is required ahead of evaluations in order for us to plan the correct number of teams per age category. Female players will then go through the general evaluation process and be placed onto a girls’ team according to skill.
Q. How will the coaches be selected?
A. Coach candidates will need to submit a detailed application and undertake a criminal background check. Candidates will be selected on a criteria of qualifications and experience.
Q. What league will the girls’ teams play in?
A. Starting in Novice all Whitemud West teams play in the EMHA – Edmonton Minor Hockey Association. Our girls’ teams will be placed in a tier competitive with their skill set, playing against other girls’, boys’, and co-ed teams from across the city.
Q. Where can I find more information on female hockey in Alberta and Canada?
We would love to hear your feedback and interest in our new program. On June 1st registration for the 2017/2018 season opens and we hope to see you at our upcoming open house, our conditioning camps in August, and our evaluation skates in early September. In the meantime should you have any questions about the female program or Whitemud West in general please contact either myself or visit our website for more information.
Finally, please feel free to share this message with those in your networks that may also be interested. For more information please contact our VP of Development - Derek Damery or the Whitemud Office.