2020 day of the girl e

Our voices, her future

To celebrate International Day of the Girl, some of the most influential women in the game share their vision for the future and how we can get there

Madison Koekkoek
October 11, 2020

Since 2011, the United Nations has recognized Oct. 11 as International Day of the Girl Child, honouring girls’ rights and the unique challenges they face around the world.

“Only by ensuring the rights of women and girls across all the goals will we get to justice and inclusion, economies that work for all, and sustaining our shared environment now and for future generations.” – United Nations

This year’s campaign is themed My Voice, Our Equal Future, which hopes to inspire today’s generation of girls to lead as activists, thereby accelerating social change. To honour and to celebrate, brought together gamechangers who advocate for and accelerate change in Canada’s game.

Through various initiatives, including the Hockey Canada Foundation’s Hockey is Hers (see below), Hockey Canada, as a leading national sport organization, is striving towards increased opportunities for more girls to play. Amplifying the actions and voices of national team players and alumni is important to inspire young girls across the country. For Hockey Canada, the goal is to remove barriers so all girls can benefit from the positive life skills and experiences learned on and off the ice.

Why is it important for young girls to see women playing the game at the highest level?


Four-time Olympic gold medallist
Hockey Hall Of Fame inductee
Order of Hockey in Canada honouree
PWHPA operations consultant

“It’s important for young girls to see women playing the game at the highest level, because it shows them there is a future in the game for them. Giving young girls someone they can relate to will build self-confidence, provide realistic goals to achieve, keep them in sport longer and help to ’normalize’ their athletic path. Representation and visibility matter.”


Two-time Olympic gold medallist
Order of Hockey in Canada honouree
Order of Canada recipient
Hockey Canada Foundation board member
Hockey Night in Canada broadcaster

“I believe it is important for young girls to see women playing at the highest level, because it shows them hockey is a great sport they can play their entire life. It gives them a sense of how important it is to be healthy and fit, to learn about confidence and to develop the leadership skills through playing hockey they will need into adulthood. When young girls are able to see role models, they see that anything can be possible, and the goals they set for themselves are attainable not just by boys, but by them. By seeing role models, they see everyone can face adversity and find a way through it. They see that playing sports, and hockey specifically, is AMAZING!”


Two-time Olympic gold medallist
Two-time Clarkson Cup champion
Three-time CWHL MVP

“It is very important for little girls to see women play the game at the highest level because it can make them dream bigger and make them realize that anything is possible if you put your whole heart into it.  If you see it, you can dream it and when you start dreaming it, you start believing it. 

“It is pretty awesome to see the increase in little girls that want to play hockey, and seeing growth in the next generation makes us all want to push a little more and fight even harder. We believe in having a sustainable, viable and professional league and we are going to do whatever it takes to give the next generation the opportunity.”


Four-time Olympic gold medallist
Order of Canada recipient
Three-time Clarkson Cup champion
Head coach, Concordia University women’s hockey

“It is essential for young girls to have role models that are thriving in hockey and academics. I believe the members of Canada’s National Women’s Team represent exactly that for the next generation of players. We each have a responsibility to give back to the game that has brought so much joy in our lives by inspiring more girls to pursue those same opportunities while collectively making them more accessible to all. The creation of a sustainable professional league with the best players from around the world is vital to increase visibility of our sport with young girls and grow our fan base. The best hockey players, regardless of gender, should be able to aspire to play hockey professionally.”


Olympic gold medallist
Clarkson Cup champion
Reality TV star (Amazing Race Canada, Battle of the Blades)

“With the push for equality in society, I think there are a lot of opportunities for women’s hockey to grow and become a recognizable professional league, where all players are household names. Seeing the number of girls in minor hockey is inspiring and it’s only going to make the future growth of the game that much better as we work toward getting a professional league girls can dream of playing in.”


Executive director, Hockey Nova Scotia

“I’m a big believer in ‘See Her, Be Her’ because it is about showing what is possible and if young girls see women playing at the highest level, they will have a picture of what is possible. I think the same for all underrepresented communities in the game. My vision would be that within my lifetime, we will see equal representation between men and women playing the game.”


Vice-president of global marketing, Bauer Hockey

“It is important for little girls to see women playing our game at the highest level because seeing is believing! Like boys, girls deserve role models to aspire to and an equal opportunity to play and dream about playing professional hockey. It is exciting to see women lead as powerful ambassadors for our game, inspiring a more diverse and inclusive community, and girls representing growth in our sport. At Bauer, we are passionate about supporting and elevating the world's best women hockey players, and investing in initiatives to empower girls, teach life lessons and develop leadership skills.”


Hockey is Hers, the effort by the Hockey Canada Foundation to ensure a long-lasting and genuinely positive impact on the women’s game, focuses its funding into three strategic areas – the development of coaches, recruitment and retention of girls in hockey, and support of Canada’s National Women’s Team. For more information, or to donate, go to

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

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