Natalie Spooner (middle right) poses with some young fans. Spooner is a two-time Olympic medalist in womens’ hockey and visited Kelowna to talk about her “Spoon Full of Dreams” event to youth hockey players along side the Grindstone Award Foundation. Photo: Grindstone Award Foundation

Olympian brings women empowerment in sports to Kelowna

Two-time medalist Natalie Spooner joined the Girls Rock the Rink event

Young Okanagan hockey players are joining two-time Olympian Natalie Spooner on the ice.

Spooner is in Kelowna this weekend alongside the Grindstone Award Foundation’s Girls Rock the Rink, which helps young female hockey players get and stay on the hockey rink.

With a gold medal in 2014, a silver medal in 2018 and a successful career in both university and professional hockey, Spooner came to Kelowna to share her story of becoming a bona fide hockey star.

“I’m excited to be (in Kelowna) to share my story with the girls and hopefully inspire them to keep playing sports or hockey,” Spooner said. “Getting on the ice with them is the best part and the most fun.”

“For me, my big ‘ah-ha’ moment growing up was when I got to meet Jennifer Botterill and to see her gold medal. For these girls, hopefully, it’s something special that inspires them and lights that flame inside of them to continue pursuing hockey.”

READ MORE: 200 pro women hockey players form union in step toward league

READ MORE: Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to the Okanagan

The Grindstone Award Foundation helps finance young women hockey players’ dreams in the Okanagan. The weekend event, Girls Rock the Rink, gets local players spending time on the ice training with both Spooner and other elite female hockey players and coaches. A hockey tournament, as well as an all-star game, gives players a chance to see what playing with a women’s national player is like while helping promote women in sports.

With the Canadian’s Women’s Hockey League (CHWL) folding earlier this year, Spooner joined the Girls Rock the Rink to help usher in new developments of a sustainable professional women’s league for future players.

“Girls’ hockey is growing faster than boys’ hockey. It’s about giving these girls the confidence to stick with it. If we can get the right support and the people behind us, it could really create a league that’s sustainable,” said Spooner, who looked forward to getting back on the ice after a few weeks away.

READ MORE: US-based NWHL OKs plan to expand to Canada after CWHL folds

“Having one of the top women’s hockey players in the world join us for a weekend of fun and inspiration will no doubt leave a lasting impression on the young players that are joining us,” said Grindstone Award Foundation president and founder, Danielle Grundy.

Spooner played with the Toronto Furies in the CWHL and had a record-breaking career with Ohio State University. She’s the first player to win the CWHL Championship and Olympic gold medal.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Lake Country adopts road safety policy

The policy is meant to influence planning and implementation

U16 B.C. fastpitch champions had Kelowna help

Kelowna’s Ryley Binne is part of the White Rock Renegades who won nationals last week

B.C. man quits six-figure job to pursue comedy

Comedian Alex Mackenzie brings An Experiment Called Life to Okanagan stage at comedy festival

Prospects look to crack squad in West Kelowna Warriors pre-season action

The Warriors start the pre-season Wednesday night against the Penticton Vees

UBC Okanagan partners with industry to usher in next-generation of battery

It’s a collaboration between the university and B.C.-based tech companies

VIDEO: Facebook rolls out tool to block off-Facebook data gathering

CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the “clear history” feature more than a year ago

It’s all gravy: Popular Kamloops poutinerie truck recovered

The Frenchies Poutinerie food truck was stolen back in July

Catholic church buys $7.5M equestrian facility in B.C., plans ‘agri-retreat’ centre

Church hopes to grow crops, host students and others on Bradner property

New regulations require training for B.C. addiction recovery homes

Inspections, standards replace ‘wild west,’ Judy Darcy says

True Leaf closes in on cultivation for Okanagan cannabis hub

True Leaf Cannabis Inc. says it expects to receive its cultivation licence by fourth quarter of 2019

Pembina buying Kinder Morgan Canada and U.S. portion of Cochin pipeline

The deal also includes an Edmonton storage and terminal business and Vancouver Wharves

Regional district to appeal loss of mosquito control in Shuswap provincial parks

BC Parks concludes treatment unnecessary for preservation of recreational value

Trans Mountain gives contractors 30 days to get workers, supplies ready for pipeline

Crown corporation believes the expansion project could be in service by mid-2022

Looking for a job? Now’s a good time in Salmon Arm

Trends show workers needed in trades, service industry, high-tech manufacturing and more

Most Read