On Saturday, March 3rd, The Toronto Furies and Grindstone Award Foundation worked together to provide a hockey-filled day for over 45 kids (ages 8 to 17) at the MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence.
The one-day event consisted of a one-hour skills clinic and a pizza lunch where the kids got to “chalk talk” with the Furies, exchanging stories and hockey memories. To end the day, all participants received a ticket to see the Furies play their second-last regular season game against the Boston Blades, where they swept the scoreboard with a 3-0 win.
Canadian Olympic silver medalists, Natalie Spooner and Renata Fast were also in attendance, dropping the puck during the opening ceremonies, took pictures and signed autographs for the fans.
“The Furies family is happy to partner with the Grindstone Foundation Award and give back to the next generation of female hockey players,” said Nicole Latreille, General Manager of the Toronto Furies. “It was a memorable day for everyone and we were glad to be a part of this experience.”
The Furies saw this as an opportunity to leverage their resources and engage their supportive community to recognize the hard work and efforts that the GFA is making in order to involve more females in the sport. The participants were shown that a professional career is now an option for young athletes—a vision that, for many years, was non-existent, especially in female hockey world.
“We are so grateful for this partnership with the Toronto Furies. With the funds raised, more families [can] ensure their girls can continue playing hockey,” said Danielle Grundy, President of Grindstone Award Foundation. “Kids at [the] skills session said it was their ‘best day ever.’ That’s just a great reminder of why we are working so hard to raise funds so more kids can have those same hockey experiences and memories.”
Through fundraising and sponsorships, GAF provides grants to female hockey players under the age of 19, acting as a catalyst to participate, expand and improve their hockey development. As a result of the event, over $2700 was raised in order to create more opportunities for young female hockey players to be able to play at a competitive level.
“Hockey is so much more than a game. It formed our whole childhood and it will for all these young girls. You learn so many lessons that you can transfer over to other parts of your lives too and it just helps you grow as a person,” said Furies defenseman Katie Gaskin.
The Furies ended their season on the highest note, winning both games against the Boston Blades, and providing inspiration and education to the future faces of professional women’s hockey.