Young female hockey players in Lloydminster will get a chance to learn from a gold medalist this summer.
Mélonie Daoust will be coaching an all-girls training camp from July 13 to 17 in the Border City. Daoust played for Team Canada winning the gold in the 2014 Sochi Olympics and silver in the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics. The players will be spending a week learning skills such as power skating and puck protection as well as learning skills off the ice.
Lindsay Mann is the organizer of the camp and says Daoust is a great role model and has taken her daughter to her hockey camps in Montreal over the past two years.
“She comes back with sharper skills and a whole new outlook on her hockey development. She’s committed to training, eating healthy and she’s just very excited about hockey in general.”
Mann wanted to bring that same excitement to the players in Lloydminster. While at the camps in Quebec, Mann began talking to Daoust about hosting a camp in the Prairies. Daoust was somewhat nervous about it.
“She proposed it and I was like it’s going to take a lot of work and I don’t know anyone in Alberta and she said I’m going to help you, don’t worry about it,” Daoust says.
Daoust says she wants all female players to develop into great players and is providing them with something she wasn’t able to get when she was younger.
“When I was younger there wasn’t a summer all-girls hockey camp and I thought that was missing. I was used to playing with boys all the way to 16 years old. For me, it was important to have an all-girls camp to be able to develop them as much as possible.”
Mann says her daughter had a similar experience playing in a co-ed camp and is thankful for Daoust giving her daughter a safe place to learn and grow in her hockey career.
“Many female athletes feel comfortable in a development session with boys but there are a large number of athletes that don’t want to train with boys. My daughter trained with one development session that was co-ed and she came home and said ‘never again.’”
Mann says there are some goalie spots open and they are bringing in a goalie coach from McGill University. The camp is nearly filled up with two groups of thirty players but Mann is looking to add a third group which would open up another 30 spots.
“We’ve been working on getting more ice so that we are able to open another session. We’re looking at a few options where we might add a group for tiny athletes, elite athletes or one more group to the program. Depending on enrollment and interest, we’ll address the extra ice.”
Daoust says the camp is all about getting the players to work together to get better.
“If I can impact as many girls as possible then my camp is going to be successful.”