This year of 2015 has been a newsworthy one for women in sports. The latest update came last week with the beginning of the inaugural season of the National Women’s Hockey League. The league is the first of its kind in that it is the first paid female hockey league.

I will be the first to admit that I don’t watch hockey, except when some exceptional shot is put on Sport Center’s Top 10 plays. But that’s about as much as I take in at one time. Despite this, I am quite excited for the startup of this league. I guess I could say that I have a small taste of what it is going to mean to people.

At the end of this past summer, I went to New England for the first time in my life. I worked a camp for middle school girls – which was not as horrifying as one would think. When getting to know the campers, I learned that many of them play hockey. One girl even left camp twice to go play in her games.

It was quite strange for me to be in a place where the sport was as common as soccer or baseball for kids. Being from Alabama, hockey was this thing that could only be seen on television, not in person. But these girls lived it every day; hockey was their passion.

And it is because of this that I know the NWHL is very important. Though I don’t see it in my everyday life, I am aware that hockey is a big deal to people. And for these young girls, it will now be a bigger deal than ever. 

They will be able to watch and look up to professional athletes who will undoubtedly inspire them to follow their passions further than they had ever thought to before. They can buy jerseys with women’s names on the back and know that they truly have the opportunity to someday enter into the league themselves. In the world of sports, girls are learning more and more that they can grow up to be whatever they want to be.

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