My Niece the Champion

My sister just told me that her daughter’s floor hockey team placed in the final round, and that they just played their big play-off game today in Victoria, BC, her home town. Regrettably they lost, it was a 3 to 1 victory for the other team who are now the tournament’s champions, but, it was not an easy win for the other guys, they had to work for it. For these kids, whose average age is eight years old, they had fun, and it was time well spent for them. But underneath the glory of playing in the season’s championship game as a team, there is another champion who shines amongst them–my niece.

Super Star Paula

My niece, this image taken here from a video clip shot by my sister, just before the game.

Paula was the only girl player on their school’s team, and she did very well, holding herself up with her team-mates. According to my sister, there were some episodes of chauvinism from the other male team members, and there were some remarks about using her as the “scape-goat” for their team’s defeats, but the reality of their team’s overall performance was how well Paula played, and how she played as a team member. They only lost, something like, one or two games throughout their whole season!

She never gave up. She never missed a game, and she played with all of her heart and soul, and gave it her all. Whether or not an eight year old fully understands the diversity that is at play here, she clearly does understand the concept of what it takes to become a team player, and above all else: to have fun, and enjoy playing the game.

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It was a perfect day for playing floor hockey outside. Photo, courtesy of Paula’s mother.

How my niece was chosen to be on the team was done through her efforts and skill. Positions on the team were not given to those who just wanted to sign their names on a sign-up sheet and play–they had to prove that they could play. Paula had to play against the coach and prove that she could play floor-hockey, like all of the other kids on her team had to do also. The test was that she had to get the puck pass the coach in a one-on-one match to qualify. Paula did just that, and she qualified to play on the team.

About the other team:

According to my sister, the other team had two female players on their bench today as well, so my niece playing in this tournament was not an anomaly, but she is still a minority.

We are proud of you Paula. You had fun, and we love you for that! There is always next season!

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