It’s International Women’s , a great opportunity to take a look at all the work that the NWHL has done to promote women’s rights and fight for equality on and off the ice. Here I take a look at three ways that players from the NWHL are addressing these issues as they continue to make history…
Inspiring Future Generations:
With these players now starting to get the media recognition they deserve, they are able to reach more and more budding young sportswomen and inspire them to take up a career in hockey. Not only that, but with the creation of the NWHL these girls’ hockey careers won’t end at the end of College, it will just be beginning.
— Madison Packer (@madison_packer_) February 20, 2016
— NWHL (@NWHL) March 3, 2017
— UHWK (@TheOfficialUHWK) February 14, 2017
Fighting for greater pay and media coverage of women’s hockey:
Almost everyone involved in the league has some part to play in this, but one person who excels herself is Anya Battaglino. She started off the season as a Connecticut Whale player, a colour commentator for the games she wasn’t playing in, and being employed as a full time sales rep for a tech company. However, she wanted to do more in the fight for equality and so volunteered herself to take on the role of the director of the NWHL Players’ Association doing a lot of behind the scenes work for the league as a whole. With all of this, she claims she manages to still find time to get 5 hours of sleep a night, but others have said that even this is an overestimate.
— Anya Battaglino (@battaglinoa) February 12, 2017
Laying the path for others to follow:
With the NWHL being the first professional hockey league for women in the world there have been, and will continue to be a lot of firsts. I’ve picked out two of these trailblazers paving the way for future generations.
One of these is Sojung Shin who took up hockey from a very young age in her home country of Korea. She began training with the national women’s team when she was just 12 years old. She then went on to overcome many barriers to become the first female player from Korea to compete in North American college hockey, and after signing a deal with the New York Riveters she continued to lead the way becoming the first professional female player from Korea. She’s currently one of three goalies in the league to have recorded a shutout. She has shown that anyone can play hockey, regardless of sex, background or nationality.
Hilary Knight is another trailblazer who is using her high media profile to combat the stereotypes surrounding body image. She sums it all up and shows off her amazing hockey skills in this video:
These are just a couple of the many stories of women fighting against the odds to get where they are today; I could have chosen any number of female athletes. If you’re still not convince that women’s ice hockey is totally awesome and exhilarating to watch, just watch this video (the future is bright!):