Women have been wielding hockey sticks in the Canadian military as a competitive sport for 20-years; since the first unofficial tournament was held in Cold Lake in 1999. Hockey is Canada’s unofficial national sport and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), men and women now represent the country and its sport in CAF uniforms.
Celebrating 20-years of Canadian Armed Forces Women’s Hockey
There has always been a struggle for women across the world to compete in the same sports that men have access to. Over time thinking has changed and girls and women continue to gain more access to the same opportunities as men. As the sport of hockey grew nationally and internationally, the need for female hockey in the CAF was felt. The CAF recognized that women’s sports within the military were beginning to mirror sports outside the military. As stated by Veterans Affairs Canada,
“Fundamentally, hockey is all about determination, fitness, teamwork, skill, and the desire to win. Gender is irrelevant. The same way women serve without limits in the CAF, they play without limits on the ice.” - Rear-Admiral J.R. Auchterlonie, CAF Patron Women’s Hockey
Personnel Support Programs (PSP) Sports staff work hard to coordinate and organize men’s and women’s sports for the CAF. Sports range from local unit recreation to CISM international-level competitions.
“Hockey and the military have a lot in common. Strategy, discipline, commitment and camaraderie, all contribute to a winning team. Hockey and war have been connected in our country in many ways for more than a century, and countless hockey players of all skill levels have served in the military. From icy rinks in Europe and frozen rivers of Korea to dusty floors in Afghanistan, hockey has served to strengthen the troops as well as boost their morale. Numerous hockey trophies today honour our service men and women.”
Find out more about sports opportunities within the CAF