While keeping it simple. The simple fact is that sports for kids rules. Sports for girls really rules! As I was beginning to lay out the plot for Pink Pucks & Power Plays, I knew I wanted to touch on an important subject. Sure, I love a spicy romance with a sassy woman falling for a hot hockey player, but I wanted a bit more. Something socially important that each leading lady and man in every Wildcats book would contend with.
I decided to have my leading man in this first book meet his lady love while coaching a youth league during his summer off. Many pro athletes do this, and I cannot think of a better way for a star to pay it back. The time these players spend with our youth is paid back in healthy children with vibrant intelligence as well as a good outlook on life. A role model is not just a billionaire who catches the winning touchdown, or scores the winning goal. A role model spends their own time teaching by example.
Now that I knew Alain would be coaching, I wanted to have him be faced with coaching girls. So I gave him and Viviana both a lively team of cherubs to keep them on their toes, as well as to teach a fine lesson about stereotypical roles that are still hiding in the corners. While it`s true some of the parents of my fictional girls are not overly thrilled about their daughters playing hockey at first, they soon come around. Yes, hockey is a rough and tumble sport. But the benefits of being a part of a team in a sport that is still predominately male will build strong women. I am happy to report that over the years, the rate of females in hockey is climbing. Just look at how popular the women`s ice hockey tournaments in Sochi were.
It`s a well-known fact that being involved in sports is a beneficial thing for children. We`re all aware of what athletics does for our young men, but are you aware of the good things that come from our young women being part of the athletic community? Sports teaches girls commitment, respect for others, how to concentrate under stress, how to make and achieve goals, respect for others, and how to accept responsibility. There has been extensive research done on other aspects of girls being involved in sports, and the benefits are staggering. The health benefits of course are impressive. Girls in athletics report fewer chronic illnesses, have better body esteem, report less tobacco and alcohol use, have healthier menstruation, and build stronger bones, thusly reducing the risk of osteoporosis later in life.
There are tons more good things about getting your little girl into a sport to report! Playing sports helps girls do better in school, they perform better in math and science, and have a lower dropout rate. It seems girls in sports have a better social life as well. They also have more involvement in their community. Just like male athletes, female athletes are more popular in school, as sports helps open the doors of the social ladders of high school. It`s pretty obvious how important sports can be for a young woman. From higher self-esteem to lower rates of depression and/or suicide, participating in sports is a plus for all girls. It`s a win-win for all involved!
So, to do my part to play it forward just as Alain and Viviana did, I will donate one dollar for every comment left today to the Elmira Jackals Youth Hockey league. You can check out their website below. This is our local ECHL (East Coast Hockey League) team who do a great deal for the community. Take a few minutes to enjoy the photo albums while you`re there. Those kids are beyond cute! I would love to see others step up and say that they`ll match me trying to raise some cash for some girls who just may turn into the next Jessie Vetter, Gigi Marvin, or Julie Chu. You never know what the future holds when a little girl laces up those skates for the first time.