“Oh, girls play this game?” a spectator at the Canada Cup Floorball Championship asked.
Not only do they play Floorball, women dominate the game in North America.
This February the women’s national floorball team faced the U.S women’s team to determine who would qualify to represent North America in the Floorball World Championship. Team Canada beat the U.S women’s team 7-4 and 2-1, allowing them to head to the Czech Republic this December.
“Our goal is to make it to the semis,” says head coach Robin Ridgewell. “In Europe, they play a different game then us, but we don’t mind that. We have speed. Our forwards are fast and our defence is strong,” says Ridgewell.
Beth Hone, a 19-year-old player on the women’s national team, strongly believes that participating in large tournaments a great way to expose other female athletes to the game of floorball.
Her teammate, Sonja Hotke, also the General Manager of the team, attributes the sport’s growing popularity to the efforts of high school coaches and teachers who teach their students about floorball.
“We should get floorball started in more high schools, even elementary schools. It’s all about getting schools excited about it, getting teachers to tell their students,” says Hotke.
“Also, floorball players should get their friends out, especially the girls. Girls are very social so if they play floorball, it’s likely that they’ll talk about it and try to get others out on the court too,” she continues.
Teammate Eryn Brown, 18, is an example of a player who has spread her passion for the game to her friends. She says that a lot of the girls on her hockey team know about floorball through her.
“It’s been growing for sure,” she states.
One way that the Team Canada women have encouraged growth of the sport through their female peers is by splitting up the girls on the women’s national team onto different teams in the women’s division of this year’s Canada Cup tournament.
A few women from the national team are on each of the four teams in the tournament. This allowed the girls to spread the word to their friends and recruit players to either train or to simply have fun.
If female athletes keep sharing their passion for the game in the way that they have been, the number of women’s teams in the Canada Cup Floorball Championship has the potential to double, or even triple, in upcoming years.