2023 idgc message for next gen

A message for the next generation

On the International Day of the Girl Child, a who’s-who of Canadian women’s hockey share their advice for young girls

Jason La Rose
October 11, 2023

The future of women’s hockey has never looked brighter.

When the Professional Women’s Hockey League officially launches its inaugural season in early 2024, it will mark a milestone for the game and for the women who helped pave the way.

But it will also be a watershed moment for the young girls who will watch with wonder as their heroines step onto to the ice, and who will dream of following in their footsteps in the years to come.

To celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child, we asked some of the biggest names in the game one question:

With women’s hockey growing at an unprecedented rate, what advice do you have for young girls to ensure this is just the first step?

“Embrace believing in yourself and encouraging friends and teammates to do the same. Belief and confidence are things you have to work on every day, and the more we can help each other the better we will all be for it. Belief is contagious.”

-- Emily Clark

“Participation in hockey will help develop life skills that are valuable well beyond the ice, and those skills will transfer into developing future community and corporate leaders. Competing in the sport also has the potential to open up so many future opportunities in the game – we are now seeing careers as executives, and in coaching, scouting, data analytics and so much more. As the game grows both professional and globally, the opportunities to be a part of the game are exponential.”

-- Jayna Hefford

“Keep pushing the boundaries and never settle for less than what you deserve. We have made incredible steps over the past few years, but we still have long way to go. Keep fighting, keep pushing for the next generation, and always leave the game in a better state than when you started.”

-- Ann-Renée Desbiens

“Continue to work hard, dream big and never stop enjoying every time you lace up your skates. It’s unbelievable that young girls can aspire to play professionally with the best players from around the world.”

-- Courtney Birchard-Kessel

“The future is bolder and brighter than ever. Keep believing in yourself, keep believing that you belong and never forget that you can achieve anything you set your mind to if you consistently put in the work.”

-- Marie-Philip Poulin

“We’ve only just begun to see the potential in our sport, and I encourage young girls to find their joy in the game and keep it a part of their lives. Our sport is made better when we can keep those girls in the game as they grow up, becoming coaches, volunteers, managers, referees or maybe even professional players. It’s so exciting to know so many more doors are open for young girls to make hockey a lifelong passion.”

-- Brianne Jenner

“It’s essential to support young girls in pursuing their passion for sport, especially hockey. My advice to young girls is to develop a strong work ethic, set goals, stay committed to learning, seek role models, be a team player and – most importantly – have fun! The success of girls in women’s hockey today will inspire future generations and contribute to the ongoing growth of the game in a positive direction.”

-- Renata Fast

“Love the game. And then get one of your friends to love it, too. And then hopefully they get one of their friends to love it, too. Every once in a while you’re going to face some adversity, so just make sure you love it enough to plow right through that adversity.”

-- Cassie Campbell-Pascall

“To all the young players with dreams of playing for Team Canada or at the next level, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication, but what is most important is having fun. No matter what happens, win or lose, enjoy every moment you get to be on the ice.”

-- Jocelyne Larocque

“Never settle. Always go after what you want and what you deserve, regardless of what others think or say. Not everyone will believe in you, but you will turn heads, prove people wrong and leave the sport in a better place than when you found it. Be fearless!”

-- Blayre Turnbull

“Hockey is an amazing opportunity to meet new friends and stay involved in the sport we love. It allows us to have fun while building our confidence in hockey and in life. We are committed to making hockey a lifelong opportunity for young girls.”

-- Kori Cheverie

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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