Mount Pearl woman earns HockeyNL award
By Mark Squibb | Vol 7 No. 14 (July 18, 2019)
Denise Fagan of Mount Pearl is the proud recipient of Hockey NL’s Female Hockey Promotion Award.
“I was honoured. I was emotional, I had tears in my eyes,” said Fagan, recalling the announcement earlier this summer. “There’s so many deserving people out there, and the fact that I got it, there’s no words to describe it.”
Fagan has been involved in female hockey for the last decade, serving the Mount Pearl Minor Hockey Association as its female hockey director, and with Hockey NL as Eastern Zone Coordinator, amongst other positions.
She said there’s one reason for her commitment.
“To see the young girls, when they come on and get their first goal, and play their first shift, that’s why,” she said.
Fagan helps the association promote female hockey through ‘Bring a friend day,’ the First Shift program (a six week program designed to introduce new players to the game), hosting a girls hockey weekend, and free camps for girls.
“Those camps have been very successful the last couple of years and have filled up very quickly,” she noted.
Fagan also worked behind the scenes to bring to life the Eastern Junior Women’s Hockey League, Hockey NLs first ever female junior league, in August of 2018.
She said there are a number of barriers facing young girls getting involved in the sport, including the financial and time commitments. Another major barrier is ice time.
“Ice time for the girls is mostly on the weekends, and that’s when they’re doing their different activities. So that’s a huge barrier as well,” she told The Pearl. “It’s hard to get ice time as it is for (all) hockey, let alone for female hockey.”
She said there’s still an attitude, though it is diminishing over the years, that girls don’t have ‘the stuff’ to play competitively.
“Girls can play hockey too,” she said.
Fagan received the award at the Hockey NL AGM in Gander on June 8.