It Takes a Village: 5 Easy Ways to Support Women’s Hockey

They say it takes a village to raise a child; I’m learning that it definitely takes a village to run a professional women’s hockey team.

draft1

Our first round draft pick, Kristina Brown (Boston College). My first draft was such an amazing experience.

It’s probably come as no surprise to everyone that as I accepted a position as GM of the Boston Blades, a professional women’s hockey team in the CWHL, my priorities in life have definitely shifted.

I used to be able to put a lot of time into fitness coaching and I can’t as much anymore, but I’m still striving to live as an example for others when it comes to health & fitness. I will never let that go. I know that I need exercise & I need to take care of my body now more than ever. When our own lives get busy and suddenly we are under so much immense pressure, I think it is so easy to lose sight of your own well being. It has happened to me over and over again and I’m determined to not let myself slip back into bad habits. My own health with always be #1 priority. (I wish more women were able to do this without feeling guilty about it!)

That said, this blog is focused on what is going on in my life at any given time and right now, I’m gonna write about hockey right now.

The girls representing Boston!

The girls representing Boston! Draft pick Eli Tremblay; alumna Tara Watchorn; me; draft pick Nicole Giannino; draft pick Kristina Brown

I have been overwhelmed with support from the people who I’ve reached out to (and who have reached out to me!) in the last three months. Friends, colleagues, people in the hockey world, women who I play hockey with…all people who just genuinely care about the sport and want to support the Boston Blades. They’re willing to get their hands dirty and help however we need help. I’m incredibly humbled by it. So I want you ALL to know how much it means to me that you’ve been so supportive of me and of this team. It makes my heart full & so happy.

If you’re looking to help but aren’t sure where to start or what to do: there are tons of ways to support this hockey team. I realize not everyone may have $150-$180 for Blades season tickets, or be able to make every game, etc.

Here are some easy ways you can support the Boston Blades:

1. Show up! Our fans are so incredibly important but it’s even more important that we see your faces every weekend. So – come to our games. Bring your friends. Support this team because you love the sport and you know how hard the players & staff work to make this all happen. Your presence is validation for us that this sport matters to you. Here is our schedule; and details for each game are forthcoming.

However!! Mark your calendars now for the games you want to make.

In fact, I’ll give you a sneak peak at some of our promotions:

Oct. 31 – Home opener, post game skate with the team. Bring your skates and meet the team! Come in costume if you like and we’ll make it a “haunted skate.” Whatever floats your boat. (We’ll be the ones dressed like bumble bees? #BlackAndGold.)

Nov. 14 –  Military appreciation night, all active military & veterans get in free. Players will wear camo jerseys. Operation Hat Trick hats will be on sale, game worn camo jerseys will be auctioned. We’ll be supporting another great organization, Hockey Saves, which pays for ice time for vets.

Dec. 19 – Teddy bear toss! Bring a new or gently used teddy bear, toss it on the ice after the Blades score their first goal. All teddies will be donated to Salvation Army. Flying teddy bears, what’s not to love?

I’ll get more information out there as soon as we solidify more details but you definitely won’t want to miss these games. Bring your kids, your neighbors, your neighbors’ kids. Help spread the game.

2. Volunteer. If you have some time to give, a particular talent or even just a pair of hands, we can find something for you to do to help us out. You can even volunteer remotely from home by helping us do some groundwork for fundraising. It doesn’t have to be a huge commitment on your end, but if you believe in what we believe in, we know you can help us spread the sport of women’s hockey. E-mail me at kpatronick@cwhl.ca and we’ll get you hooked up.

3. Merchandise. We will have all new merchandise created for this season! Support your team by buying some merch, wearing your fandom proud and helping us raise the money we need to raise to operate as a team. Our merchandise isn’t currently set up for sales yet (because, like I said, new merch vendor…but SOON!) but when it is I will let you know, so you can buy ALL OF THE THINGS!

4. Season kick off party! Come to our very first team fundraiser on Oct 1: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/boston-blades-season-kickoff-party-tickets-17870844176Tickets start at $25 and include two drinks at Bantam Cider, which is really quite a deal. And think of the company you’ll be in! Buy a ticket!

We have to raise a lot of money to make this hockey team happen. I’m not going to lie, it’s kind of daunting, but I know I’ll be leaning my “village” to help me get it done. So you buying a ticket and showing up to this party REALLY helps us out.

We will be having more fundraisers in the future as well (of course) so be sure to keep an eye out and support those. If you have any ideas for fundraisers, send ’em my way! This GM is all ears.

5. Engage with us on social media. We’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat. We are @BostonCWHL on pretty much everything. Download Periscope and follow me @KristaPatronick so you can listen to me ramble about the Blades. You’ll even get to watch some of our practices on ‘scope, etc. Like our stuff and share it up!! 🙂

Another fun thing that we have been planning is a Clarkson Cup tour around the city of Boston to celebrate our win last season. We’ll be hitting some Boston landmarks with the Cup and doing some photo ops the week before our home opener. I can’t give away too many details yet but at least a couple photo ops are scheduled for my birthday. I’m so excited to spend my birthday with the Clarkson Cup, with my hockey family, in my city, celebrating my 28th year of life. It’s going to be a great one.

Huge thank you to everyone who has engaged with the team, supported me & the Blades so far this season. It is only just beginning.

Our practices start in about a week and a half and I’m really excited to get the squad on the ice and watch them gel as a team.

Hope to see you in October 🙂

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