Every year a new adventure for BC Hockey Female North Zone Lead

VANDERHOOF, B.C. – Theresa Philips is back for her second two-year term as BC Hockey’s Female North Zone Lead …

VANDERHOOF, B.C. – Theresa Philips is back for her second two-year term as BC Hockey’s Female North Zone Lead and is ready to face new challenges.

Draw a line from 100 Mile House to Prince Rupert; everything female hockey north of that falls under Philips’ zone. That’s a tall order, but luckily for Philips, she’s well connected.

“I’m not new to female hockey, I have two daughters, and I play hockey myself. I had a lot of the contacts already, but I’m passionate about it. I sent a ton of emails, and it’s been really good,” says Philips.

Female hockey changes almost yearly because there’s no cookie cutter kind of approach that the male side has the luxury of, says Philips. Armed with a list of contacts, two years of experience as North Zone Lead, and a love of the game, Philips was proud of one specific accomplishment in 2020.

“We don’t have the numbers, and we don’t have the programming. One thing we did do is start the Northern Female A league, so that’s all the rep teams in the north.”

Philips says the league gives girls in places like Fort St. John more exposure and an opportunity to see a future in hockey. The Northeast Predators is the Fort St. John team.

“The Predators have done a phenomenal job, they do fantastic with their fundraising, and they have great coaches. By having this league, they get exposure, they get to have league games, and other people get to see how awesome this is and say, I think I’m going to join.”

While the league did get created, COVID-19 restrictions iced any shot at having a full season.

“Unfortunately, each division only got one weekend of games, and then we were forced to shut down. But, it’s the beginning of something great.”

When asked about what challenges are ahead for female hockey, Philips had one word: “visibility”.

“I think they don’t get to see what the boys get to see. The boys get to see Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews night after night, and the girls don’t get to see that.”

Without seeing their role models on TV, hockey becomes more of a hobby and less of a future for girls.

“We want to grow the numbers, and to do that, they need visibility. That starts from the top down, and I think the female league that we’ve started will bring that visibility.”

Philips says the Northern Female A league plans to resume next season.

“If there are no restrictions, we’ll hit the ground running. When September starts, we’re game on.”

Theresa Philips loves to talk hockey, and she encourages anyone with questions about female hockey to send her an email at [email protected]

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