Jenelyn Russo

By Jenelyn Russo

Jenelyn Russo

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Girls Try Hockey for Free–IIHF World Girls’ Ice Hockey Weekend

I walked my girls to the playground before school the other day, a rarity any more, since they love the independence of being dropped off. And I was glad I did, because I got the chance to overhear a very interesting exchange between my six-year-old and a new friend of hers.

Her friend was telling my daughter how excited she is to be going on a trip this winter to the mountains. She is planning on going sledding and ice-skating. My hockey girl had a question for her.

Hockey Girl: “Do you know how to ice skate?”
Friend: “No, it’s really hard.”
Hockey Girl: “I know how to skate.”
Friend: “Really? How?”
Hockey Girl: “Because I play hockey!” (said with a big smile on her face)

Friend: “That’s weird.” (said with a puzzled look on her face)

Hockey Girl: “No, it’s not….”

I interjected with a comment of my own.

“It’s actually a lot of fun!” I said. “She really enjoys it. You should try it!”

Now I know that her friend’s comment wasn’t mean spirited. What she was trying to say was that a girl playing hockey in sunny SoCal is “unique” or “different”. It’s not something you come across every day out here in the land of sand and surf. I know my daughter is the only girl in her 1st grade class who plays hockey. And she very well might be the only girl in her school who plays hockey.

And you know what? I’m proud of her for that. It’s been about a year since we were sitting inside Honda Center at a Ducks game and she announced to us that she wanted to learn how to play hockey. She’s been all in since day one, not letting the boys, the early mornings, or better skaters deter her. In a lot of ways, we are all still rookies, but it’s been a fantastic ride so far.

If you have a girl in your life who you think would love to give hockey a try like my little girl did, this weekend is the perfect opportunity. October 13th and 14th is the International Ice Hockey Federation’s (IIHF) World Girls’ Ice Hockey Weekend.

As part of this global campaign, rinks will be hosting special Try Hockey for Free Days to give girls the chance to try the game of hockey at no cost. Girls will be loaned skates, jerseys and all the equipment needed for the one-hour session, where they will receive skating instruction and hockey basics. No experience is required.

If after the session, your girl likes it and wants to learn more, there are Learn to Play programs that she can participate in to continue the process. My daughter started out in a Learn to Play program and we found it to be a wonderful experience. It’s a fun, low commitment, free way to expose girls to this great sport.

Here are a couple of sessions happening this weekend at local rinks.

Saturday, October 13th, 9:00 – 10:00am

KHS Ice Arena
1000 East Cerritos Avenue
Anaheim, CA 92805

For more information or to RSVP, email

Sunday, October 14th, 2:10 – 3:10pm

The Rinks – Westminster Ice
13071 Springdale Street
Westminster, CA 92683

For more information or to RSVP, go here and fill out the registration form.

Share this information with any girls in your life who may be interested. And have them bring a friend along this weekend for a fun session of hockey. We here at When Girls Love Hockey think that the more girls who play this sport, the better.

Who knows, maybe in a few years the idea of a six-year-old girl playing hockey in SoCal won’t be so “weird” anymore.

If you want to get caught up on my daughter’s adventures in learning to play hockey, check out the links below:

When Girls Play Hockey

Learning to Fly

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