The inaugural Fierce Female Hockey Camp was an unqualified success.
The Brandon event drew 133 female hockey players between the ages 4 and 10, including many from the Virden area, for on and off ice sessions. All of it was female led. Deloraine’s Ashton Bell, who helped Team Canada win women’s hockey gold at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, helped out on the ice both days of the camp – June 4-5.
“This event was amazing! Having 133 female hockey players was so special, also the fact 100 per cent of the on-ice and off-ice sessions were all led by female coaches too was just so special,” coach Megan Robertson said. “Being in the rink on Saturday and Sunday there was such a high energy level. Everyone was so happy to be there and be involved in a special camp like this. There was such a high turnout, which shows there is a great interest in this type of program. I can only imagine our next camp will be just as if not more popular.”
Amy Doerksen, who won the 2022 BFL Female Coach of the Year Award in the Community, spearheaded the event. She said it had multiple goals.
“The first was creating a safe and engaging female-focused event,” Doerksen said. “We had all female instruction on ice and off ice, and the focus was having fun playing hockey. A second goal was supporting the development and growth of female leaders in the sport by creating a safe and engaging space for them too. We need more women in leadership roles in hockey. The ‘See it, Be it’ concept works and that was apparent (that) weekend.”
About 40 volunteers made the event possible. That group included many former U18 AAA Westman Wildcats, including Bell.