The weekend of Oct. 5 to 7 was World Girls Hockey Weekend, an event organized by the International Ice Hockey Federation to help grow the game on the female side.

Several countries, such as Ireland, Mexico and Spain, joined in on the action that weekend along with several minor hockey associations in Canada and that included the Iqaluit Amateur Hockey Association.

The association wasn’t able to host anything on-ice as both the Arctic Winter Games and Arnaitok Arenas were still out of commission that weekend but that didn’t stop them from going indoors to the gymnasium at Inuksuk High School to play some floor hockey.

Amy Savikataaq, the association’s vice-president responsible for female programs, said she wanted the girls to be able to take part even if they couldn’t skate.

Some of the major female division girls are all smiles after taking part in the World Girls Hockey Weekend event in Iqaluit on Oct. 6. In front is Laisa Kilabuk; in back from left, Tasiana Shirley, Pauline Comeau, Madison Ahle-Savikataaq, Maiya Nadrowski, Taila Armstrong, Cassidy Devereau and Annika Akulujuk. Photo courtesy of Amy Savikataaq.

“I registered the Iqaluit girls for a floor hockey game to allow us the opportunity to participate in this amazing event promoting female hockey and allowing us to show our Northern spirit,” she said.

A total of 23 players between the ages of five through 17 took part and they were divided into two groups – major and minor female.

“We had three of our major female players on hand providing mentorship to the younger girls during their game time,” said Savikataaq.

The event was well-received by everyone, said Savikataaq, and she hoped everyone who took part found a love for the game, especially the new players.

Getting the girls to sign up and play wasn’t a hard sell at all, even with no ice to play on, she added.

“The girls love to get together to play and socialize,” she said. “Many haven’t seen each other since the end of the school year and it was a chance to reconnect with old friends and also make some new ones. And they definitely were missing being on the ice and were anxiously awaiting the start of the season.”
They finally got that chance to play on ice for the first time on Oct. 13 as the Arctic Winter Games Arena officially opened for business.

In total across the country, Hockey Canada said there were 329 events with more than 23,000 participants.

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