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Girls' and women's hockey is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. But the selection committee for the Hockey Hall of Fame (HHOF) seems oblivious to this fact. The Board may acknowledge that women play hockey, but seem unwilling to celebrate our tremendous contributions to the sport as a whole. The IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) "broke the ice" by inducting three true pioneers of the women's game into it's Hall of Fame. Accomplished players and pioneers like Angela James, Geraldine Heaney and Cammi Granato (as well as a handful of others) are more than deserving of this great honor. And yet the doors to the Hockey Hall of Fame remain locked to us women. Not only are there no women enshrined in the Hall, but we aren't even represented on the selection committee that decides the fate of all its potential inductees. The last time I checked, it was called the Hockey Hall of Fame - an old boy's club to be sure, but certainly not established to celebrate the achievements of men only. How are we going to get on the wall, if we can't even get a seat at the table? It has been over 10 years since our inclusion in the Olympic Games and now we not only have the 'numbers', but also the 'quality', to back up our inclusion in the Hall. The women's game has exploded at every level since Ottawa hosted the inaugural Women's World Hockey Championship back in 1990 and will undoubtedly experience an even bigger "boom" after the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. And the growth of the sport is no longer limited to North America. If the results from most recent Olympics and World Championships are any indication (with Finland and Sweden finally looking like they could challenge for a Top 2 Spot), women's hockey is slowly, but surely, becoming an international game. The number of girls and women playing the game in Canada and the US more than tripled in the last 10 years and the quality of the play has increased exponentially. Leagues such as the Canadian Women's Hockey League have been established to give the best players in the world a place to play after college. The gold medal games at all 3 Olympic Games that we have been a


part of have drawn huge audiences - both in person and on TV. "Wickenheiser" and "Darwitz" are starting to become household names - even if only on this side of the Atlantic. Women's hockey still struggles for consistent recognition by the mainstream media, but the mere mention of our inclusion in the IIHF's Hall of Fame indicates that we are at least on their radar screen. That being said, our battle for widespread acceptance is still very much in its infancy. It is going to take a long time and it is not going to be easy. But I do believe that it is time for the Hockey Hall of Fame to open its doors and let us sit at the table. We're not asking for you to pull out our chairs or accept us with open arms, but we do expect to be heard.

Kim McCullough, MSc, YCS is a Athletic Development Specialist and founder of Total Female Hockey. In addition to training and coaching girls at all levels of hockey, from novice to the National team, Kim has also played at the highest level of women's hockey in the world for the last decade. Kim's female player development website (http://www.totalfemalehockey.com) gives the coaches and parents of aspiring young players access to the most up-to-date programs, articles and advice on how to help their players take their game to the next level. To learn more about female-specific player development, get your Free Report: The #1 Mistake Female Players Make in the Off-Season at: http://www.totalfemalehockey.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Kim_McCullough

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