Hockey New Brunswick set to vote on motion that could end co-ed minor hockey
Published Wednesday, May 17, 2017 7:01PM ADT
There is plenty of reaction to a motion to be discussed at an upcoming meeting of Hockey New Brunswick which could see the end of co-ed minor hockey teams.
If passed, it would mean a lot of travel for players unable to find a girls’ team in their area.
The idea is creating anxiety in many areas of New Brunswick, where minor hockey consists of co-ed teams.
“What’s going to happen is, chances are, their daughters not going to play hockey,” says former Hockey New Brunswick member Marty Forsythe.
The motion was put forward by someone within Hockey New Brunswick. Forsythe is lobbying everyone with voting rights to vote against it.
“If they have to go leave playing with their friends and go play in Fredericton, for example, chances are they’re not going to play, what we've lost is - we've actually lost players.”
The president of Hockey New Brunswick tells CTV News everyone in the organization has the right to make a motion.
“I know it is creating a lot of discussion, but there isn't really anything we can do,” says Ray Carmichael. “We can't circumvent due process, so it will have to make its way through the system.”
Carmichael says Hockey New Brunswick's main goal has always been to encourage more girls to play. While female hockey has grown, there are still only about half as many girls as boys in the league.
Hayley Wickenhiser is perhaps the best known female player in Canadian hockey history and continues to be a strong advocate for women in the sport that made her a household name.
“Small communities make up what hockey is, and to take away the opportunity for girls to play with boys is setting our game back probably 50 years,” says Wickenhiser. “It’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard to be honest.”
The executive director of the New Brunswick Women's Council says the situation is a good opportunity to have a discussion about gender in sports.
“Is it built around increasing girls’ access? And whatever step they take, are they going to properly resource and support it - or are they setting it up so that some girls are going to be failed in this? And there's going to be no mechanism for them to share that it's creating barriers for them,” says Beth Lyons.
Hockey New Brunswick is set to vote in June.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Brown