Building Leadership Skills Through Hockey: Stephanie's Story
I want to start by introducing myself in Ojibwe:
Aanii, Ogimaa Kwe ndiznikaaz. Mgizi ndodem. Anishinaabe Kwe ndow.
Hello, my name is Chief Woman (*Stephanie). I’m from the Eagle Clan.
I’m an Ojibwe woman.
If you ask about me in my community in northwestern Ontario, they will tell you that I am known for my voice. I sang at my elementary school graduation for a crowd and I always take the mic at talent shows. Sometimes, I even sing before I get out on the ice and play hockey!
As you can see, I am confident and comfortable in front of people. I am a singer and a hockey player. So, when my community hosted a hockey clinic with MLSE and Right To Play in December 2022, I couldn’t wait to practice my hockey skills and play with other youth from my community and nearby communities.
At the three-day clinic, I loved experiencing different coaching styles and learning from female coaches. I didn’t feel uncomfortable trying new skills or embarrassed if I messed up. Stick handling is not my strong suit, but I worked on it and improved!
With my confidence on the ice, I encouraged and supported others. After everyone’s turn doing stick handling drills, I patted each person on the back to make sure they didn’t feel embarrassed or self conscious with all eyes on them. Teamwork is a part of everything; you need to be good with others to succeed!
I am excited to share the skills I learned with my house league teammates and coaches and continue growing as an encouraging leader. When I am older, I hope to be a voice coach to help people sing.
*Name has been changed