On Friday January 25th, 2019, the American National Women’s Hockey League player, Kendall Coyne was recognized for her high level performance at the NHL Allstar Skills Competition. Kendall Finished seventh out of eight participants, beating Clayton Kellers time by 0.18s. This participation by Coyne broke a lot of barriers for female hockey players.
“The crowd was electrifying, to hear the USA chants, everyone erupted when I started.” – Kendall Coyne Speaking of Allstar Crowd.
This is extremely important as, in sport’s history, gender inequities in participation opportunities as well as support for female athletes have been an issue. Although female participation and enrollment in sport continues to increase, sport is still without a doubt dominated by males. It is believed that women are sometimes viewed as fragile and weak and, therefore, cannot sustain the same physical exertion as males. This creates intimidation and pressure for most female athletes to succeed in male dominated sports.
For many years, the question regarding whether or not women should be eligible to participate in male sports leagues has consistently arose. There are very strong opinions that men and women should have separate sport development for cultural and social reasons. Kendall originally started out in figure skates as it was the female athlete social norm and women were not playing hockey in the south part of Chicago. Her figure skates quickly changed to hockey skates once she became old enough to question why her older brother was allowed to wear hockey skates and she wasn’t: “I want to be like my brother, I want to do what he does. Why is he on this rink and I’m on that rink.” This is important in society today because women are continuing to prove historical and cultural beliefs wrong; they are showing their passion, commitment, strength and determination for sports and proving that women in fact can have success in men dominated sports.