TORONTO – A year after the barnstorming “Dream Gap Tour” began, the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA) is set to announce a new structure for the 2020-21 season. Based on feedback provided by the PWHPA membership, a new regional structure will be implemented that aims to improve the player experience and continue to make strides towards building a professional environment for the players.
The PWHPA will consist of five regional training hubs located in Calgary, Toronto and Montreal in Canada, and New Hampshire and Minnesota in the United States. The regions will aim to provide players with improved access to resources such as full-time dressing rooms, access to strength and conditioning facilities, support staff and coaches.
“We listened to our players from last season, and the feedback was very consistent in ways that we could improve the PWHPA experience,” Jayna Hefford, PWHPA Operations Consultant, said. “It was a priority for us to increase the level of commitment and to provide additional resources for our athletes to develop and perform at the highest level. There is still an opportunity for players to be a part of the PWHPA, even if they don’t reside in an ‘official’ training region. We simply condensed the supported centres to provide more resources for our athletes.”
New this year, players will be required to try-out to make the regional training group. Each hub will be able to carry a roster of 25 active players that will be eligible to attend showcases. In addition to scheduled showcases, each regional hub will play more regional games and players will have access to training opportunities. All of these changes are aimed to promote higher competition among regions and enhance opportunities for players to continue to grow the game.
“The new structure provides players with a more professional training environment on a regular basis which will allow us to put the best product of women’s professional hockey on the ice daily,” said Kendall Coyne Schofield, two time Olympian and president of the PWHPA board.
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About Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA)
Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association’s (PWHPA) mission is to promote, advance, and support a single, viable professional women’s ice hockey league in North America that showcases the greatest product of women’s professional ice hockey in the world. The organization aims to provide a united voice to players advocating for the creation of a sustainable professional league. PWHPA is working to accomplish its mission by coordinating training needs and programming opportunities during the 2020-2021 season and collaborating with like-minded organizations to make hockey more inclusive for women today and for future generations. To learn more about PWHPA and the Dream Gap tour visit www.pwhpa.com.