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Hockey Canada announces women's and girls' steering committee

Canada at women's hockey world championship Canada celebrates - The Canadian Press

WINNIPEG — Hockey Canada has formed a committee of stakeholders to help structure the organization's next women's and girls' hockey strategic plan.

The governing body made the announcement at a news conference Friday at a women’s and girls’ hockey symposium with representation from all 13 of Hockey Canada's member associations.

Former national team player and current Hockey Canada board member Gillian Apps will chair the committee, which will oversee a discussion paper that leads to formal recommendations for the strategic plan.

The committee also includes former national team players Cassie Campbell-Pascall, Jayna Hefford and Angela James.

The discussion paper is expected to be published early this summer.

Hockey Canada says it has consulted its members, plans to conduct additional interviews with stakeholders inside and outside the game, and will invite the Canadian public to participate in the research.

“Internationally, Canada has always been a leader in women’s hockey. Now is the time to ensure we are on the leading edge of identifying and addressing gaps in the current system to provide women and girls with even more opportunities to thrive in the future,” Apps said in a statement.

“This committee’s efforts will be critical to furthering the game at all levels, and we are grateful this group has agreed to volunteer and be part of this important work.”


Gillian Apps (Hockey Canada Board of Directors and NWT alumna); Pierre Arsenault (chief executive officer of U SPORTS); Thérèse Brisson (president and chief executive officer of Alpine Canada, and NWT alumna); Cassie Campbell-Pascall, broadcaster, special adviser to the Professional Women’s Hockey League and NWT alumna); Debra Gassewitz (president and chief executive officer of the Sport Information Resource Centre); Jayna Hefford (senior vice-president of hockey operations for the PWHL and NWT alumna); Katherine Henderson (president and chief executive officer of Hockey Canada); Marian Jacko (Hockey Canada Board of Directors); Angela James (Hockey Canada Foundation Board of Directors and NWT alumna); Rob Knesaurek (senior vice-president of youth development and industry growth with the NHL); Anne Merklinger (chief executive officer of Own the Podium); Mary-Kay Messier (vice-president of marketing for Bauer Hockey); Brad Morris (Hockey Canada Foundation Board of Directors); Allison Sandmeyer-Graves (chief executive officer of Canadian Women & Sport); Kim St-Pierre (regional manager at Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities and NWT alumna).

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 31, 2024.