With the first professional women’s hockey league only being formed in 2009, women’s hockey is still continuing to grow. Women’s hockey is nowhere near full potential as a sport in North America. When CARHA Hockey member Diane Cruickshanks was growing up, hockey was not an option as, “It just wasn’t heard of where I lived”. Diane took interest in the sport of hockey and introduced it to her daughter at the age of four.
Two years after Hamilton, Ontario created a team, Diane stepped up as the executive of the association, to help advance the program. A senior league was later developed, and after two years of helping manage the league, Diane decided it was time for her to lace up the skates and hit the ice. She never looked back as she played until she was 68 years old. Diane would have continued to play beyond those years however, an injury has kept her side-lined. She found herself advancing the game once again from behind the bench as equipment manager with the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) as well as the gold medal U18 Women’s National Team in 2012.
The senior league that she is involved with now has 38 teams with five divisions and even a skills program. With hopes of medical clearance, Diane is considering playing again next season. Women’s hockey is and will continue to grow, so it is never too late to join the game.