Pee-Wee Championship: Still a long way to go

Marie-Philippe Pauline, Melody Douste and Anne-René Despins still floated their Olympic clouds by passing the Tournoi international de hockey pee-wee de Québec. Besides the awards, the three gold medal winners note that the development of Quebec women’s hockey still faces hurdles.

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Marie-Philippe Pauline, Anne-René Despins and Melody Doust proudly displayed the gold medals they won at the last Olympics.

Image courtesy of Paul Wee, Jonathan Roy

Marie-Philippe Pauline, Anne-René Despins and Melody Doust proudly displayed the gold medals they won at the last Olympics.

Behind the cheerful smiles of the three great hockey women, bitterness and a tone of concern were evident.

At first there was a report from the Hockey Recovery Commission, which sounded the alarm. According to the statistics presented, even if the population of Ontario is only 1.7 times larger than the population of Quebec, there are eight times the number of female hockey players registered.

To give the lead in the development of women’s hockey in Quebec, nothing like the tiles announced this week with the program closed at Cégep Saint-Laurent. Noting the protest, the foundation later rectified the situation by talking about a “pause”, but the news is still disturbing.

“Every time we think we’re taking a step forward, we realize we’re taking two steps back,” goalkeeper Anne-Rene Despiens summed up well yesterday, ahead of a busy signing session.See other text below).

work to accomplish

Senior star of the national team, Marie-Philippe Pauline, did not hide her frustration either.

“It’s very unfortunate,” she said. We see again that there is still a lot of work to be done on the female side, either in any aspect. To see that happen again today, it’s really a shame.

“Something has to be in place to bring this program back. Saint Laurent has had several years of success, which is sad. Caroline (Olette) played there, younger, like many women. I hope something is in its place.” .

Melody Doust also looked in shock.

“Saint Laurent has always been a reputable programme, with good coaches and good players coming out of there. This is another bad news for women’s hockey. It’s the leaders who make sure it doesn’t work out. We can’t help but be disappointed by this news as it could have been a turning point. more positive.

career path

While sports drool at the base of the pyramid, the country’s best players continue to work in the shadows to create a professional league that will see the light of day in January 2023.

“We created the Players Association to bring the best players in the same movement together to get a league at the end. We have the right people behind us, and we have to trust them and be patient. It takes time, but all great things take time,” said Pauline.

For Despain, even if the advent of the professional league does not solve all ills, it will nonetheless be a source of inspiration for young people.

“We are only three Quebec players in the national team. There has to be a succession. You have to start with the youngest, but you also have a professional league to inspire them. Young girls should have the opportunity to see us play and meet us. This is an important first step.”

Big enthusiasm for the heroes

The line of meeting of the three hockey players of the Canadian national team stretched for a long time.

Young and old were excited and there were some tears of joy.

“Come on, don’t cry big, it’s just Mary Philip Boleyn, there’s nothing there!” Melody Dowset joked to a young fan who had moved on to meet Pauline.

The popularity of the three hockey players is undeniable. After a warm welcome on the ice at Videotron Center in a celebratory showdown, the three ladies signed autographs for an hour and thirty minutes for an audience made up mainly of young hockey players.

“Quietly, not quickly, we are coming out of the Olympic cloud. Elite from Beauce-Amiante, said Pauline, who took part in the tournament herself.

“This is where your dream begins. It is very exciting to share our passion. It is a historic tournament for all young people.”

Behind the women’s team

Pauline also praised the efforts of former teammate Caroline Owlette, who made up the all-women’s team that has been in the tournament since 2016.

“Caro’s efforts, who put this in place every year, are incredible. It’s great to see. It’s just the beginning of something big that allows these girls to dream. They find themselves on the same level as boys and that’s important,” she said.

Regarding whether the competition’s possible next step would be to create an all-women’s section of the Quebec B-Wee Championships, Pauline asserts that “this
It would be wonderful.”

Patrick Dohm, the tournament’s general manager, said the idea was impossible just a few years ago, but he will discuss the matter with his Quebec hockey counterpart, Jocelyn Thibault.

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