I?ll be the first to tell you that I love hockey. But being Black, and being a woman on top of that, doesn?t make it easy.
That’s why I am incredibly thankful to SCORE, Hockey is for Everyone (HIFE) and all programs dedicated to promoting inclusion, and building a safe and welcoming environment for everyone to love hockey.
That?s what sports programs do for kids — provide a place where players and families will always belong. The influence of SCORE extends beyond the ice and doesn?t stop at the final buzzer. It is unwavering and profound because they are committed to building a community around the love of hockey.
One of SCORE?s core values is “character,” and the people
at SCORE take that to heart. My coaches at SCORE didn?t just model how to be a good player, they embodied how to be a great person.
SCORE and other HIFE programs are built by great people who simply want to spread their love of the game. Over the years I’ve learned you will always belong in the hockey community when you rally around the message that hockey is for everyone.
This is shaping up to be a thank you letter from me to SCORE Boston Youth Hockey, and it?s well-deserved. I?ve said this before and I?ll say it time and time again: I owe so much to SCORE. I?ve transitioned from 9-year-old to young-adult, and SCORE consistently has been in my corner — from my first skating lesson, to my first town team to closing out my final high school season.
There are not enough ways to say “thank you” in the English language, but I?m trying. So, thank you to my squirts coaches who listened to me complain about the cold while showing me how to stop properly during my first year. Thank you to the coaches who, even after practice, stayed on the ice with me to run just one more drill. Thank you for offering me a position as a junior coach after I aged out because I still wanted to be involved. Thank you for going out of your way to come to my high school games. Thank you for showing me the magic of hockey.
And a special thank you for believing in me, even when I didn?t believe in myself sometimes.
I?ll be graduating in the spring and heading off to college in the fall. But, no matter where I go, I?ll always know that there will be a place for me at SCORE.
Thank you, SCORE Boston, for being apart of my life.