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AN OPPORTUNITY FOR GIRLS OF ALL AGES TO TRY ICE HOCKEY
The World Girls’ Ice Hockey Weekend is a global opportunity for girls to try out ice hockey as a new sport and learn about opportunities to play ice hockey in their community.
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With information and material provided by the IIHF and Member National Associations, ice hockey clubs all over the world organise one-day events in the local ice rinks to provide an opportunity for girls to try ice hockey for free. The programme bring girls from their community together on the ice so they can be introduced to basic skills in hockey in a positive, fun and safe environment, and learn about opportunities to play ice hockey in their community. During the day, the girls learn about fair play, sportsmanship and teamwork, meet new friends and have a chance to fall in love with a new sport. Girls only need to bring skates and some type of helmet and gloves. The local coaches and administrators ensure that there is a day full of action.
Events of all sizes
Member National Associations, leagues, clubs, teams or any group that has a passion for sharing the sport of ice hockey with the next generation of female hockey players are eligible to register as hosts. It is not a difficult event to hold and organisers can make the event as big or small as they wish – the main goal is to give girls the chance to play. Organisers advertise the event in their community and organise an ice time and arrange some coaches to run some very basic and fun drills. In order to make the event as accessible as possible, organisers also provide pucks and sticks, and possibly arrange to have skates available if they are in an area where the sport of ice hockey is not common.
Assistance from the international federation
As the initiator of the project, the IIHF provides assistance to those wishing to organise an event during World Girls’ Ice Hockey Weekend. For promotional assistance, the IIHF provides a poster template that can be printed anywhere, and hosts can add their specific event information in their own language. Further, a sample of a practice plan can be downloaded from the IIHF website that shows what drills to use and how to organise the ice time. Guidance for general event planning is offered for first time hosts of a girls’ hockey event. Finally, a World Girls’ Ice Hockey Weekend Toolkit is being prepared which will contain very detailed instruction on how to organise a World Girls’ Ice Hockey Weekend event, all the way from marketing to running the actual event and following up with the results.
Promote sport and physical activity
The programme aims to promote participation in ice hockey for girls and encourage them to try a sport that is not often specifically promoted to girls.
Provide equal access to sport
The main goal of the World Girls’ Ice Hockey Weekend is to recruit girls to play ice hockey. Ice hockey is traditionally a male dominated sport and the programme grants females the opportunity to play and engage with the sport. The programme also aims to grow the sport beyond traditional ice hockey nations.
The IIHF utilises its dedicated website and directly communicates to Member National Associations. The IIHF and the Member National Associations promote the event on a larger scale whereas the local clubs can display posters at local schools, shops etc., and inform local newspapers. In addition, the IIHF covers some of the events on the website and thus provides further information that is accessible to anyone.
The IIHF summarises the numbers of events and countries involved and collects feedback. For future editions, the evaluation will also include the number of players and information on how many of the first-time players come back and start playing.