Hayley Wickenheiser, four-time Olympic Gold Medallist and Order of Canada recipient, plays hockey with novice players during the Canadian Tire Wickenheiser Female World Hockey Festival hockey tournament, also known as WickFest. (Photo: Robert Shaer)

Hayley Wickenheiser says women’s hockey has ‘come a long way’ at Surrey event

Olympic gold medallist in Surrey for WickFest tournament

While dozens of novice hockey players skated around Arena #3 at the Surrey Sport & Leisure Complex on Saturday (Feb. 2), there was one player who stood out.

Hayley Wickenheiser, four-time Olympic gold medallist and Order of Canada recipient, was on the ice with the girls aged six to eight for a couple of recreational games during the Canadian Tire Hayley Wickenheiser Female World Hockey Festival tournament, also known as WickFest.

RELATED: New WickFest hockey event in Surrey welcomes 800 girls for more than just games

Asked how the girls reacted to getting to play with her, Wickenheiser was humble.

A lot of them probably don’t know who I am. I mean, they know because they came to my event here, so their parents have probably told them, but it’s a new generation, really,” she said.

Wickenheiser said she told the girls they get to carry the next generation into the next few winter Olympics.

“I think all the women we’ve had here as hockey players are role models. When I grew up, I had (Wayne) Gretzky and (Mark) Messier and others and now they have women on the national team and they’re household names many of them. It’s come a long way since I started.”

“I love being on the ice with the Timbits. It’s where you remember hockey to be the most pure and fun when you were a kid; it’s just going out to play — no whistles, no face-offs, drop the puck and play. That’s the way the game, I think, is truly meant to be.”

Now in its ninth year, WickFest is not just a hockey tournament, Wickenheiser said.

“People come here and they get hockey, but I want it to be a professional development weekend for kids and girls in hockey.”

In the years since the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, Wickenheiser said she thinks women’s and girls’ hockey has really grown in B.C.

This is the first time Surrey has hosted WickFest which runs from Jan. 31 to Feb. 3.

For more info on the event, visit wickfest.com.

READ ALSO: Hockey history in Surrey as Team India comes to play



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Lauren on Twitter

 

Hayley Wickenheiser, four-time Olympic Gold Medallist and Order of Canada recipient, speaks to novice players during the Canadian Tire Wickenheiser Female World Hockey Festival hockey tournament, also known as WickFest. (Photo: Robert Shaer)

Just Posted

VIDEO: Surrey’s former Flamingo Hotel goes out with a bang

The Flamingo opened in July 1955 as a motor hotel with 20 rooms

Rocky Mountain high: Surrey’s Burzan picked in NHL draft by Colorado Avalanche

Guildford-raised forward currently in WHL with Brandon Wheat Kings

Queen Elizabeth students hit $100K in donations to Surrey Hospital Foundation

Secondary students have been raising funds for a decade through the Roots & Rhythms event

City hopes Surrey’s new energy centre will be ‘a window’ into sustainability

Facility’s goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

SQUEEZING SURREY STUDENTS IN: The causes and impacts of overcrowding in city schools

Special series: How growth is affecting students, parents and school staff alike – and what the future holds

Wildfire burning in coastal forest

A fire beside the Sea to Sky Highway is burning up a steep slope

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Rock climber dies after fall at Stawamus Chief in Squamish

The man had fallen about 30 metres while climbing in the Grand Wall area

Five B.C. students taken to hospital after playing with vaping device

School district said students were taken to hospital ‘out of an abundance of caution’

Being a pot dealer is not what it used to be

Sunday Big Read: the business of selling marijuana in B.C. is a slow bureaucratic slog

VIDEO: Two more pride flags have been stolen from Langley woman

Lisa Ebenal was “angry” and “fed up” after the latest theft. Then people started showing suppport

B.C. couple who has raised 58 children turns to community amid cancer diagnosis

Family who raised, fostered and adopted many kids hoping to gain some precious together time to fight cancer

Canucks acquire forward J.T. Miller from Lightning

J.T. Miller, 26, had 13 goals and 34 assists for the Lightning last season

Most Read