By Natalie Russell
The plan for a Ryerson women’s hockey team has hit another snag in the ice.
Stephanie Poulin, a third-year fashion student, has been working for two years to get her dream off the ground.
But just when a Ryerson women’s hockey team was in sight, things were abruptly put into a standstill. A women’s hockey team has been lacking at Ryerson since the institution’s establishment.
Hockey and figure skating are currently the only sports at Ryerson without both male and female teams. In recent years, Poulin has pushed for her dream with the help of David Dubois, Ryerson’s former athletic director.
“We went ahead and had a couple meetings and the support was overwhelming,” Poulin said. “Dave realized that there was a strong interest and it would be a good step for athletics to eventually create a varsity women’s hockey team. It was long overdue.”
About 20 women make the trek every Wednesday night to George Bell Arena for an 11 p.m. practise time. Their ambitions of a women’s hockey team aren’t too far-fetched and the road to get there was apparently laid out.
The squad continously pushed athletics in the hopes of becoming a club team next year and a varsity team in two years. Harvey Boutilier, Ryerson men’s hockey team’s equipment manager, began helping by running the practises.
“I have been showing up to George Bell Arena, getting the girls organized, taking care of equipment needs and running the girls through a number of drills on the ice,” Boutilier said.
But, with the termination of former manager of interuniversity sport Terry Haggerty and Dubois last week, the future of women’s hockey at Ryerson looks unsure.
Marion Creery, the temporary head of athletics, gave away the girl’s late night ice time to the City of Toronto, cancelling four Friday night games Dubois had set up.
Both Boutilier and Poulin have been in contact with Creery about starting a women’s hockey team in the future. A plan of action for the team is being passed around within athletics.
“There is a cloud of uncertainty around the whole endeavour. We are awaiting word on what step the administration is going to take,” Boutilier said. Even though Dubois is no longer in the picture, there is still hope.
“The demand is there. Even though Dave was let go by Ryerson, I don’t feel as though it should affect how far we have come,” Poulin said. “This is a step that Ryerson athletics must take.”