What are the Benefits of Going to School and Playing Hockey in the CIS? 
Answered by Dan Church, Head Coach York University Women’s Hockey Team, Asst Coach Team Canada

There are many benefits of staying in Canada for Education and Hockey. Some of these include:
  • 5 years of playing eligibility   
  • Quality of the leagues - there are 30 schools competing in the CIS for a National Championship  
  • Top coaches - almost half of the head coaches in the CIS have had experience coaching or playing in Canada's program of excellence with the national team or provincial team programs. Canada has the top coach education program in the world  
  • Quality of education - Canada is recognized as a global leader in education. Our post-secondary programs are top ranked because of their quality and consistency across the country. Student-athletes who are interested in working in Canada after graduation must  really consider the quality of their degree and the social connections that become business connections after graduation from university   
  • Value of education - Canadian universities are globally recognized for their value. The cost is low but the quality of education is extremely high. Provincial governments subsidize the cost of education which is why tuition costs are reasonable
  • Athletic scholarship - Athletic Financial Awards are available for top athletes but are tied to academic performance  
  • FISU World University Games - CIS athletes have the opportunity to represent Canada internationally at the second largest multi-sport competition in the world next to the Olympic Games
  • Positive relationship and strong linkages to Hockey Canada

What Opportunities are there to Play Female Hockey in Europe? 
Answered by Tanya Foley, IIHF, Women’s Program Manager

There are more opportunities every year as more support is added into women’s programs around the world. Most European countries now have a women’s league operating with teams usually basing in the nation’s major centres and travelling to play each other. The IIHF has operated the European Women’s Champions Cup for the past seven seasons which is a three round tournament structure involving sixteen (16) club teams from around Europe. There is also an Elite Women’s Hockey League that in the 2010-11 season was comprised of eight teams from Austria (3), Germany (1), The Netherlands (1), Slovakia (2) and Slovenia (1) to allow for extra competition.

What Opportunities are there for Women to Stay Involved in the Game Once they are Finished Playing?
Answered by Tanya Foley, IIHF, Women’s Program Manager

The future of the game is dependent upon providing opportunities for the bright stars of tomorrow. A Five or ten year old girl can’t book ice time, run a Girls’ Hockey Day, or even officiate in a game, but we are seeing more and more coaches, referees, team managers and tournament organizers being people who were players themselves. If someone has a passion for the game, there are countless ways for them to share it with others! They just need to make a phone call to their local hockey association to see what is needed in their community, and with some time and commitment, doors may open to regional, national and possibly even international opportunities.

Answered by, Female Hockey Development, Hockey Canada

Many people don’t realize their true passion for the game until their playing careers are over and have the opportunity to be involved as a coach, official, trainer, administrator and numerous other roles. Who better to educate young players and officiate female hockey than females who already have the knowledge and skills to perform these tasks? There are countless opportunities to give back to sport and continue to be a role model and mentor to women and girls at all levels of the game. For more information on how to get involved in your community contact your Provincial Branch or simply contact your local minor/female hockey association in your community!

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