Sports

Girls, come try hockey May 31

Brooke Saunders has been playing with the Langley Lighting for six years. The girls ice hockey association is hosting a free come try hockey event for girls on May 31 at Sportsplex. - submitted photo
Brooke Saunders has been playing with the Langley Lighting for six years. The girls ice hockey association is hosting a free come try hockey event for girls on May 31 at Sportsplex.
— image credit: submitted photo

When Erin Saunders told her classmates in Grade 1 that she played hockey on a girls team, the boys in her class said they didn’t believe her.

So on “Wear Your Favourite Hockey Jersey” day at school, she proudly wore her Langley Lightning Girls Ice Hockey jersey.

Erin is now in Grade 5 and loves playing hockey more than ever, thanks to her great coaches and the strong friendships she has developed with her teammates.

Ruby Graber, Grade 4, decided to play hockey this past season as a goalie.

“You make a lot of friendships, have lots of fun, and learn how to respect your opponents whether you won or they won,”she said.

“This was my first year playing hockey and we did well as a team because we worked hard together, understood each other, and played for each other.”

“I find it surprising how many parents aren’t aware that Langley offers a hockey program for girls,” said Erin’s mom, Hilary.

The Langley Girls Ice Hockey Association has been doing this for many years, and this season marks its 20th year.

To celebrate this milestone and to encourage more girls to play Canada’s national sport, the Langley Girls Ice Hockey Association is holding a free, Come Try Hockey event on Saturday, May 31 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Sportsplex ice rink, 20165 91A Ave.

All girls aged five to 17 who would like to play hockey are invited.  Skates will be provided and some helmets are available, but bring a bicycle/skateboard helmet and a hockey stick, if you have one.  If you would like more information about Come Try Hockey, e-mail dumpitin@hotmail.com.

The Langley Girls Ice Hockey Association (LGIHA) currently has over 100 female hockey players, eight teams, and is run by many dedicated parent volunteers and coaches.

“The 20th anniversary of the organization is something to be very proud of, and offers a fantastic athletic opportunity for girls,” said president, Scott Rudolph.

“It used to be a boys’ world but with the popularity of Women’s Olympic Hockey, we have seen larger and larger numbers of girls signing up to play hockey.

“Female hockey is advancing in leaps and bounds, with there now being a Midget AAA division in Canada, where midget-aged girls can compete at an elite level.”

The LGIHA season runs from September to March, and registration for the 2014-15 season is open. New players receive a $50 discount and registration fees have been waived for female goalies with full equipment (Atom and older). Visit www.langleylightninggirlshockey.com for more.

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