A Grade 4 class in Salmon Arm, BC has taken full advantage of the 2007 Esso Women’s Nationals.
Students at South Broadview Elementary School, only minutes away from the Sunwave Centre, where all the games are bbeing held, chose New Brunswick as its class team, learning about women’s hockey in Canada through the team’s players.
Teacher Betty Ross walked with her class to the arena to cheer for New Brunswick during two of its games. Students and staff wore New Brunswick’s team colors and carried posters to encourage their team to victory.
As well as watching the game and learning about another province, they also got to share breakfast with members of the team and hear first hand what it is like to be part of championship hockey.
An unexpected bonus for the class was the Esso Fun Days. A parent offered to collect enough hockey gear so all 16 girls in the class could experience playing hockey for the first time.
For some of these girls, playing hockey has never crossed their minds, perhaps because of stereotypical thoughts or because of affordability. For this one day, with no cost to any of them, they were able to learn what it was like to put on hockey gear, grab a stick and be part of a team. Coached by female volunteers who all play hockey, they learned drills and team work.
Off the ice, they learned team building skills through activities and games, all things that the champion hockey players on Team New Brunswick would also take part in.
For one Grade 4 class and 16 girls in particular, hockey has become more than just something other kids do.
It became personal.