Every school year new registered student organizations (RSO) are created. Starting last spring, a new RSO was being developed behind the scenes: Illinois State Women’s Club Hockey Team. For myself, I found a flyer on campus on the last day of my finals in spring 2022. It was such a coincidence that I saw it, considering it was on a bulletin board I often view when waiting for class time. I filled out the interest form and carried on with my summer break. And one day, I received a notice from Makenna, an ISU student and women’s hockey player for the team who deserves recognition for starting the RSO, that essentially said a new team is officially in the works!
In years past there have been variations of a women’s club hockey program that has been active at Illinois State but then fizzled out due to an inconsistency in numbers, complications from remote learning during COVID and truthfully not enough growing support here at Illinois State to build up women’s sports. However, this year it’s different! There are twelve women on the roster, a supportive leadership team and staff and growing support from the ISU community, including the Redbird men’s hockey teams. The women’s team helped work a table for Breast Cancer Night that was held on October 7th, which was great publicity for raising awareness for breast cancer month and beginning to spread the news about the women’s club team. In addition, the generosity of the Bloomington Ice Arena staff in supporting the women’s team and providing them with a space to skate doesn’t go unnoticed. The staff quickly made the rink feel like a true home ice arena, especially for players that aren’t local to Bloomington-Normal.
The team has been practicing during the week and playing games on the weekend in Grossinger Motors Arena and Bloomington Ice Arena. Luckily for the players, Bloomington is a short drive or bus ride away from campus, which really allows accessible means for anyone to play. Many of the players carpool with one another for practices and games. Not only does this build comradery but also helps cut down on costs. With time, the team is hoping to fundraise and build funds for future seasons.
This academic year, 2022-2023, the team is participating in an exhibition season with hopes to register with the WCHL for the 2023-2024 season. So far, the team has competed against the Illini Women’s Ice Hockey Team and the Decatur Women’s Hockey Association (DWHA) and is hoping to play more teams as the season continues. If you have any interest in joining the team next year, check out the Redbird Life website or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about potential tryouts and registration.
Be sure to come on out to the next game on October 22nd at Bloomington Ice Arena. Puck drop is at 8 p.m. and the game will be played against the DWHA!
Check out the following links for more information about the team!
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ilstuwomenhockey