SPRINGHILL, N.S. – There’s a new hockey league in town, and it’s for women.
The Cross Border Women’s Recreation Hockey League recently started their first season in Springhill, playing Sunday and Wednesday nights, with a few games in Amherst.
“We currently have three teams, with about 15 girls on each team,” said Susan Smith, league co-ordinator. “We have girls from Parrsboro and Oxford and Amherst, and we have girls from Shediac and Sackville.”
Many of the women in the CBWRHL played in the women’s Colchester Women’s Recreational Hockey League over the past four seasons.
“We traveled Monday night to Debert to play in a league down there, and we got tired of the late nights getting back and we thought there would be enough interest to get something going here,” said Smith. “We always played Sunday nights in Springhill. It was our pickup night. We decided to turn that into a league.”
The three teams are the Once Again Sports Lions, the Archway Insurance Tigers, and the Wayne ‘Butch’ Auto Sales Cougars, the team Smith plays on.
“The league is for women 19-years-old and over. The youngest we have in the league is 22 or 23 and the oldest is 57-years-old,” said Smith. “We want all age levels and all skill levels. The only way you can get better is to play.”
Smith grew up in Amherst playing hockey on the Tantramar Marsh just off of East Victoria Street with family and friends.
“The other place we used to play was out on the Salt Plant Road. There was a pond out there we used to play on. You didn’t have equipment down there. You just had your skates and stick, but they were the best times,” said Smith.
She didn’t play organized hockey until later in life.
“There was no women’s hockey when I was a kid, so now I’m in my second childhood,” said Smith. “I’ve been playing hockey for about 15 years. It all started in Parrsboro with the Chicks with Sticks. I went down on a Saturday and they put me on a team.”
She still plays hockey with many of the women she started with 15 years ago, and many new players as well.
“Some of the younger girls who had played minor hockey and went to university were looking for some place to get back into hockey, so it seemed like a good time to get this league going”
She says the league has a lot of fun and hopes more women sign up to play.
“Hockey is a great game. It’s exercise without seeming like exercise. We all get a workout, but it’s a social thing as well,” said Smith. “It gets everybody out of the house and gives them a chance to get together, have fun and feel like they’re part of the team.”
Smith thanked Wayne MacKenzie and Vince Byrne for helping with scheduling, finding referees, and with their help in getting the league started.
“I’m sure there are girls who have hockey gear that’s getting dusty and think, ‘I should get out and play too,’” said Smith. “If somebody wants to play, we can accommodate anybody.”
The league plays Wednesday’s at 9 p.m., and Sunday at 7 p.m. in Springhill.
Anybody interested in playing women’s hockey can contact Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.