Women's hockey is moving into the forefront in 2016 with the upcoming IIHF U18 Women's World Championship and the IIHF Women's World Championship both being played on Canadian ice. In celebration, Hockey Canada and Gatorade Canada put the spotlight on women's hockey Friday by hosting a day of events and announcements, meant to highlight hockey and the talented Canadian women who play it.
To kick off the celebration, Gatorade announced the signing of two of the most successful hockey players in the game today: homegrown superstars Hayley Wickenheiser and Marie-Philip Poulin. They are the first two female hockey players to be signed to Gatorade's roster of high-performing athletes.
Gatorade has a 50-year history of studying the best athletes in the world, in the lab and on the field, and no one knows their fueling needs better.
"Hayley and Marie-Philip are highly celebrated and accomplished athletes and incredible role models," said Claudia Calderon, Marketing Director, Gatorade Canada. "Gatorade embraces the notion that 'hockey is hockey.' No matter your age, gender, or ability, your mindset and passion for the game remains the same. World-class athletes like Marie-Philip and Hayley really bring that message home and embody the Gatorade brand values. We are honoured to have them as our ambassadors."
Adding to the day's excitement, Hockey Canada and Gatorade surprised players from the Brampton Canadettes Bantam AA girls' hockey team, the Markham-Stouffville Stars and the Etobicoke Jr. Dolphins with a meeting with the hockey stars, followed by some fun drills and a scrimmage. The players were also presented with tickets to attend one of the U18 games in January. They also had the opportunity to sit in on an intimate Q&A session with Marie-Philip, Hayley and fellow Olympic hockey gold-medalist and sports reporter, Tessa Bonhomme.
"A large part of our role at Hockey Canada is to celebrate our hockey success stories on and off the ice, in an effort to help promote the benefits of the game and encourage more participation. Hayley and Marie-Philip, and our national women's program, are great examples of those on- and off-ice success stories, and it's great to have partners like Gatorade join us in highlighting them on an international scale," said Mike Ross, chief business officer, Hockey Canada. "Seeing Hayley, Marie-Philip and Tessa out there interacting with these young players is what it's all about – hockey is a fun sport that teaches you more than just puck-handling and skating skills. These three women will be the first to tell you that hockey builds leadership qualities and an off-ice skillset that will help these young girls in their future careers – whether that be on the ice or in the boardroom."
Marie-Philip Poulin is a two-time captain of Canada's National Women's Team. The Quebecer was a member of Canada's Olympic gold medal-winning teams in 2010 and 2014, and currently plays for the Montreal Canadiennes of the Canadian Women's Hockey League. At age 18, she was the youngest member of the gold medal-winning team in 2010, scoring both Canada goals in the gold-medal game. Her scoring record and humble approach to the game have earned her comparisons to Sidney Crosby. At just 24, she's already considered one of the great young leaders in the game today.
"When I look back at Gatorade's 50-year history and at their roster of global athletes, I'm incredibly honoured to be part of the team," says Poulin. "As a young player growing up on the ice, being signed by Gatorade was a dream. To have it come true is a big thrill for me, especially at this important time for women's hockey."
No. 22, Hayley Wickenheiser, is a trailblazer in redefining the women's game and an enduring and dominating force in women's hockey. Named by Sports Illustrated as one of the top 25 Toughest Athletes in the World, she is a five-time Olympic medalist. Among her accomplishments, Hayley has helped Team Canada to seven gold medals and five silver at the IIHF Women's World Championship. She carried the Canadian flag into the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, and was elected to the International Olympic Committee's Athlete's Commission that same year. A national treasure, Hayley is also a recipient of the Order of Canada, and is recognized on Canada's Walk of Fame.
"I am proud to join Gatorade's team of accomplished athletes," said Wickenheiser. "It is great to partner with a brand that is shining light onto the women's game of hockey. It is an obvious passion point for me in an important year for women's hockey in Canada. It is also a natural fit for me in terms of joining a team that is a leader in sports fueling. Being with the best was essential to me."
Poulin and Wickenheiser join a select roster of global athletes affiliated with the Gatorade brand, including three female athletes: Mia Hamm, Abby Wamback and Serena Williams, and two other notable Canadian hockey players, Sidney Crosby and P.K. Subban.
SOURCE PepsiCo Canada
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