Nine Inclusive Hockey Organizations You Can Get Behind
Updated: Jun 8, 2021
With the recent barrage of racist commentary that Ethan Bear of the Edmonton Oilers was subjected to earlier this month, we are reminded that we still have a long way to go to end racism and discrimination.
June is not only Pride Month but also National Indigenous History Month. As such, we’ve put together a list of nine hockey-based organizations working hard to promote inclusion and equity within all communities.
By purchasing merchandise from these shops and boldly displaying your allyship, you are helping to make dreams a reality and letting others know that hockey is for everyone. A quick click on any of the links provided will bring you directly to the shop page of each website.
Launched as a Kickstarter campaign in 2015, the collective who brought us Pride Tape aimed to give teammates, professionals, and players at large a vehicle to show support to LGBTQ+ athletes. According to their website, “proceeds for the sale of Pride Tape also help to support LGBTQ+ youth outreach and educational initiatives.”
To purchase Pride Tape, you can visit the Wandering Misfits or check in with one of your local sports retailers.
Smudge the Blades
Harlan Kingfisher grew up playing hockey and remembers fondly the many positive experiences he had in the game. In 2020, Harlan launched Smudge the Blades as a way to celebrate First Nations hockey. A portion of the proceeds from sales will be donated back to First Nations youth across Canada to help with equipment purchases.
There is a wide range of hoodies, t-shirts and hats to choose from. Be sure to check out the Pride hoody and t-shirts, part of a collaborative effort with Pride Tape.
Black Girl Hockey Club
The BGHC was started in 2018 by Renee Hess as “a community space for Black women in hockey and the folks who love us.” BCHC has gained a lot of momentum in that short period, and earlier this year, initiated the “Get Uncomfortable” campaign, challenging others to take the pledge “to disrupt racism on and off the ice and make hockey welcoming for EVERYONE.”
Visit their shop and stock up on a wide range of merchandise, including apparel for the whole family, stickers, face masks, bags, magnets, fine art prints, and much more.
Women’s Hockey Life
A one-stop shop for all things women’s hockey, WHL provides a platform for players from all over the world to connect, share, and learn about other players, playing opportunities, and current hockey events.
Check out their shop as it offers the largest selection of merchandise we’ve seen so far. Not only do they stock the usual suspects such as t-shirts, hoodies, and hats, but they also have jackets, hockey bags, gear, and branded summerskates.
After the abrupt end of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) in March 2019, over 200 of the world’s top female hockey players came together to form the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association. They aim to build a single sustainable women’s professional hockey league in North America and currently showcase their talents in the Secret Dream Gap Tour.
Given the PWHPA’s partnering with Adidas, most of the apparel is from the brand with select sizes up to 4XL. So, the only question left is which player shirt to buy.
Grindstone Award Foundation
A registered charity that started in 2014, the Grindstone Award Foundation is the culmination of the vision of Sasha Podolchak and Danielle Grundy to provide scholarships to girls who want to play hockey but lack the financial resources. In 2014, they sponsored their first player, and five short years later, they were able to sponsor 50 players.
Hockey is Diversity
Founded in Germany by Dr. Martin Hyun, the first Korean player in the 1st Bundesliga, and Peter Goldbach, Hockey is Diversity campaigns “against racism, right-wing extremism and discrimination.” They frequently host charity games and anti-racism projects.
The shop is facilitated through hockey clothier Scallywag Hockey, and €5 from each sale is donated back to Hockey is Diversity.
Women’s Para Hockey Canada
Women’s Para Hockey Canada began in 2006 when a group of volunteers decided “that women with physical impairments should also have a chance to represent their country.” The organization provides development opportunities and programming at the provincial and national levels for girls and women. They work tirelessly to elevate the game and push for inclusion in the Paralympic Games.
Team Trans is fierce, honey, and they don’t care who knows it. Well, actually, they do, and their message is clear – “everyone has a place on the ice.” Comprised of a group of international players, the team shares a common goal to provide a safe and inclusive place for trans and gender non-conforming players to find community.
So, there you have it, and now that you are all geared up and ready to represent, get out there, start conversations and help build bridges to inclusion.
In love and hockey,