If you can see it, you can be it: Q&A with Sarah Thompson

Stride with us for championing women and girls in sport and recreation! By amplifying the voices of past, present and future game changers in our communities we can inspire others and make an impact! Learn more about our GAME CHANGERS campaign.

How has hockey played a role in your life from a young age until now?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been playing hockey. It has become such an important part of the person that I have become and the memories I have made. It taught me so many important life lessons, introduced me to many of my closest friends and as my mom always says, “kept me out of trouble.” I was fortunate enough to have been rewarded for my many years of playing hockey with the opportunity to go to college and play hockey at Syracuse University. To this day, hockey is what makes me happiest.

How can we empower girls and women to be involved in recreational sport at any level?

I think the best way we can empower girls and women to be involved in any sport is to show them.  “If you can see it, you can be it.” By promoting women in sport, more little girls will grow up knowing that they have those opportunities. Whether you are a mom telling your little daughter that she can sign up for ballet or for football or a professional female athlete fighting for equal rights, we can all make a difference!

Hockey can be a lifelong sport where you meet lifelong friends. Do you see yourself continuing to play hockey or be involved in sport? Why?

I can’t ever envision myself hanging up my skates. As I said before, I am happiest when I play hockey. I am surrounded by a bunch of incredible, supportive people and get to exercise and compete! I took a volunteer trip to Argentina about a month ago and spent some time away from the rink, gym, and my teammates. I quickly realized just how much my sport and my teammates mean to me. To be completely transparent, I realized how lonely I feel without it! I feel so lucky to be a part of the hockey community and don’t plan on ever walking away from it.

What can we do to inspire the next generation of girls and women to get involved in sport (hockey)?

I think the best thing that you and I can all do is to encourage girls and women to play! We can get involved in sports ourselves, encourage others to participate, and support female athletes! Being a DI athlete, I can use my platform to inspire younger girls and show them what is possible! I think above all, it is so important for the next generation to grow up in a society that has every opportunity available, for males and for females.

You started an amazing program called Sticks Together. What was your inspiration?

I grew up very fortunate to have the opportunity to pursue any sport that I wished. I started Sticks Together because I wanted to give back and give others the opportunity to learn and play different sports. I believe that every kid regardless of gender, race, economic class, or physical capability, deserves to participate in sports. EVERYONE deserves something that makes them look forward to tomorrow. For me, that was always hockey. And for many others, it could be too. As the creator of Sticks Together, my goal is to ensure that those kids get the chance to play and find out. For more information on Sticks Together, you can visit my website www.stickstogether.org.

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