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Black Girl Hockey Club Awards 10 Scholarships to Black Women

Black women are often underrepresented in hockey. Black Girl Hockey Club looks to assist dedicated Black women in progressing in the sport.

Black Girl Hockey Club continues to move the dial on equity and inclusion in hockey through their annual scholarship fund. The scholarships, provided to subsidize the costs of playing hockey for Black women aged nine to 18, have become a bright spot in the organization’s work to support diversity in the sport.

“Every scholarship round, we have more and more girls applying that not only love the game of hockey but are playing at a high level,” said Saroya Tinker, Black Girl Hockey Club Canada's executive director. Tinker, a Yale alum, is also a professional hockey player with the PHF’s Toronto Six.

The Black Girl Hockey Club's scholarships are “designed to assist and encourage Black women to pursue their interest in hockey, a sport where they are often underrepresented,” according to its website.

This round's recipients included Morgan Wesley (Pittsburgh), Gem Winter (Toronto), Neveah Maddigan (Calgary), Noa Diop (Chicago), Taylor Floyd (Dallas), Toryn Jackson (Boston), Victoria Blake (Chicago), Afton Herke (Virginia), and sisters Ashley and Keira Donato (Detroit).

“Seeing their passion and dedication to the game is so inspiring for myself and others," Tinker said. "We hope that through Black Girl Hockey Club, these girls can feel supported, welcomed and recognized within the sport of hockey.”

Many in the group are the only Black women on their teams and are working to create change. 

Among the scholarship recipients is Chicago product Noa Diop, who is currently playing in France with Pôle France Féminin to be eligible to participate with France’s national team. Diop and Toronto minor hockey player Gem Winter were the top financial recipients receiving $3,000 toward their hockey costs. The minimum received by any player was $1,000. In Calgary, the NHL’s Flames covered Neveah Maddigan’s entire registration cost of $1,660 as partners in the program.

Black Girl Hockey Club also announced Wednesday it partnered with Bauer Hockey to donate $1,000 worth of hockey equipment to 10 Ontario-based hockey players.

Black Girl Hockey Club created the scholarship fund in the summer of 2020. The organization works to change the culture of the game and combat anti-Black racism through scholarships, mentorship programs, meet-up events, and its “Get Uncomfortable” pledge. 

Renee Hess founded the organization with a mission “to inspire and sustain passion for the game of hockey within the Black community, specifically with our mothers, sisters, daughters and friends.” 

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