Scarborough community encourages girls hockey

No boys were allowed on the ice during a full-day of hockey as the Scarborough Sharks Girls Hockey Association hosted their opening day celebration at the Malvern Community Centre arena.

On Oct. 23, each team from the all-girls hockey rep league played one of their season matches, officially commencing their 2010-2011 season. In total, 11 teams faced off.

The celebration was organized by SSGHA and the Malvern Community Centre to promote girls hockey in Scarborough.

“We want girls hockey to grow,” said Patrick Carew, president of SSGHA. “We’re really trying to grow our community relationship and to grow the game of hockey.”

The event brought families and friends together in the community centre. Special guests in attendance included Toronto Maple Leafs mascot Carlton the Bear, Olympic gold medalist and Scarborough Sharks alumni Vicky Sunohara, and Ward 42 councillor Raymond Cho. All of the special guests gathered on the ice for the ceremonial puck drop.

“Our particular goal was to make the celebration a very unique experience for the Scarborough Sharks,” Carew said. “We’re very proud of our connection with the Scarborough community and we have been for many years.”

By further connecting with the community, SSGHA hopes to encourage girls hockey to families who may not be familiar with the sport.

“Hockey is a market for the many first generations coming into Canada,” Carew said. “We want to make sure they know about the fantastic sport because it leads to a positive image for girls in the Scarborough community.”

Tina Crosthwaite, mother of twin 10-year-old girls, said she believes hockey will have a great impact on her daughters who have been playing with the Sharks for the past five years.

“It’s a great team sport and it shows a lot of camaraderie,” Crosthwaite said. “It’s also great for their physical health.”

With the beginning of the Sharks season on its ways Crosthwaite also hopes that the opening celebration will entice more girls from the community to participate in girls hockey.

“The Malvern community provides us with a place to play and we obviously want to give back to the community,” Crosthwaite said. “We want to introduce girls hockey to those who may not be aware of the sport. It’s important to get new girls involved and to have fun and build sportsmanship.”