Tuesday, March 10, 2015

NYC Women's Hockey Team Heads to National Hockey Championship

Boasting a recent win at the Empire State Games, the Central Park Senior Lady Hawks women’s team is now preparing for the USA National Hockey Championships in Green Bay, WI March 26-30. 

The Senior Lady Hawks are a team of college-educated woman new to the working environment of New York City. They have played college hockey at D1 and D3 schools, many of them Ivy. With no league for them to play in after graduation, these hockey players created an all female, competitive environment at Lasker Rink in Central Park, in which over 40 skilled players play organized hockey together.  

In February, a select team was chosen to play in the Empire State Games. The Senior Lady Hawks were undefeated, winning 6 straight games and beating all start teams from Western, Central, Hudson Valley and Adirondack, and bringing home the gold medal. 

Ice hockey is one of the fastest growing women's sports in the world, with the number of participants increasing 350 percent in the last 10 years. While there are not as many organized leagues (or as much sponsorship) for women as there are for men, there exist leagues of all levels including the National Women's Hockey League, Western Women's Hockey League, Atlantic Women's Hockey League and various European leagues; as well as university teams, national and Olympic teams, and recreational teams. 

The Lady Hawks women's hockey team has no corporate sponsor and anytime the players travel for their games, they have to pay their way there and back, hotels food and incidentals. The coaches are volunteers and have to do the same.  Many of these young players are just making their way in the work world and trips like this get expensive especially flights.  Donations to underwrite their bid at the Nationals are being accepted at supportladyhawks.athleteson.ly

The Senior Lady Hawks are supported by Central Park Ice Hockey at Lasker Rink in Central Park. Ice is donated, coaches are volunteers and all expenses are solely up to the players. The Senior Lady Hawks are an off-shoot of the girls Lady Hawks - a program consists of U8, U10, U12 and U14 that are currently NYC’s only all-girl hockey teams. The senior team heading to the Nationals was created from the Thursday Night Skate where over 40 high level, passionate player’s revel in an all-female environment. As the senior team thrives, the young women volunteer their time to mentor the girls Lady Hawks program, being positive role models for the next generation of female hockey players and potentially growing the Thursday Night Skate program into a more permanent league.

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