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Dr. Lafrance Horning publishes on women’s recreational hockey


Congratulations to Dr. Denyse Lafrance Horning, assistant professor in the School of Business, on publishing a chapter in the new book, Hockey: Challenging Canada’s Game.

Dr. Horning’s work comprises Chapter 8: Women’s Recreational Hockey: A New Player Profile.

Here is an abstract of her chapter:

Hockey is Canada. Canada is hockey. Regardless of the ordering of the words, this sentiment is proudly expressed by many Canadians when referring to the game of hockey. What differs among individuals, however, is their consideration of and engagement with the sport. Clearly, not all Canadians are actively involved in hockey or even fans of the game. Yet for individuals who do enjoy this sport, hockey can play a special role in their lives. For some, hockey is a fun game of pickup on the outdoor rink or a childhood sport that bonds families and creates lifelong friendships; for others, hockey may be a dream profession that has commanded years of devotion to play at the most elite levels, or it may offer a sense of national pride as fans and supporters of the game. This chapter focuses on a minority segment of players that are often overlooked: women recreational hockey players. While not the subject of media headlines or ever atop Olympic podiums, women recreational players are growing in number and influence, and are increasingly part of the discussion of hockey in Canada. What’s particularly interesting with this group is the diversity and generational differences among players. 

In this chapter, active female recreational players are profiled in terms of their hockey experience, key influencers, and feelings about the benefits and challenges of play. I will also discuss increasing tension among player cohorts in the recreational hockey ranks. Many older women have overcome years of exclusion in their quest to play a game that they have long loved from the sidelines. In contrast, younger players have enjoyed extensive opportunities to engage in the sport and to advance to the highest levels of collegiate, national, or professional play. While their individual hockey journeys may differ, these women are ultimately united at the recreational level through a common passion for the game. As the growth of women’s hockey persists, opportunities and dynamics of play continue to evolve. In an effort to develop positive-participation options for all levels of players, and to preserve the love of the game, specific recommendations are presented in this chapter.

Dr. Lafrance Horning is currently working on the next phase of this research to more fully understand some of the developing dynamics between player types.

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