About Us

Mission Statement


The Grindstone Award Foundation is a charity that enables young female players to participate and improve their skill development in the sport of hockey. The intent is to provide support to communities across Canada and address the needs of players who have a desire to play, but are unable to for financial reasons. The Foundation provides grants to female players under the age of nineteen who have expressed a desire to pursue their goals in athletics. Our selection will be based on financial need and desire, not on hockey ability. It is the Foundation’s intention that all grants will be awarded objectively in accordance with this criteria.

Meet Our Team


The Grindstone team is comprised of a diverse group of people committed to giving back to our hockey community. Our volunteer members are the driving force behind all the work we do. Our individual leadership and collective efforts result in the success we have today. The Grindstone Award would like to extend its thanks to all of our members for the important work they do!

President

Danielle Grundy


Danielle has come full circle, returning to Kelowna to be a role model for the next generation of female hockey players. Danielle has achieved a high level in both education and athletics. Her accomplishments include earning a hockey scholarship to play NCAA Division 1 hockey at Dartmouth College and playing professionally in Switzerland for 2 years.

After playing, Danielle immediately starting giving back through coaching. For 6 years, she operated Grundy’s Grind – a hockey camp specifically for female hockey players. After this, Danielle served as the Head Female Development Coach for Kelowna Minor Hockey Association – working with all the female teams within the association.

Danielle recognizes how much the sport of hockey has enriched her life. At the same time, she realizes she would not have been able to achieve these goals if it weren’t for the sacrifices her parents made. Danielle wants all girls to have this opportunity by offering financial support for those who need it. Danielle strives to be a positive role model; encouraging and promoting the same valuable life lessons she learned through athletics.

She believes that discipline, hard work and motivation are some of the skills learned from hockey. These skills are an innate part of her success in her professional careers. Off the ice you will find her selling real estate (www.daniellegrundy.ca) or innovating the business world through her marketing companies (www.lifebloodmarketing.ca or www.realtylabs.ca).


Vice President

Sasha M. Podolchak


Sasha grew up wishing she could play hockey, but there was no opportunity for her to follow her dream as a young person. She began playing hockey later in life, and now plays hockey in Kelowna wherever and whenever possible. She has a passion for the sport, and a belief in what the sport can offer women, especially as it continues to grow. She believes in the values that team sports can offer a young person such as teamwork, perseverance, and having a positive attitude. She knows that these attributes can take anyone wherever they wish to go in life.

Sasha hopes that anyone with the desire to play hockey will be able to do so with the help of this award.


Allison

Alison Rasmussen


Alison grew up, as many Canadian kids have, surrounded by hockey. From the sideline, she watched her brothers play. In the stands, she watched WHL games with her father. On television, she followed the World Juniors and her favourite NHL teams.

As an adult, Alison was finally able to play a game she had only watched before. She is thrilled to help give more girls the opportunity she wished she had growing up.


Elina Briezkalne


Elina was born and raised in Latvia, a small country in Eastern Europe. Even though Latvia has its own hockey team – Riga Dinamo –  playing in the KHL, she didn’t become interested in hockey until she moved to Canada 6 years ago. Her boyfriend is an amateur hockey player and an avid Maple Leafs fan, and the more Elina watched hockey, the more she learnt to appreciate the sport.

Even though she can barely stand on skates and has only mastered slowly skating around the rink, Elina is looking forward to improve her skills. Who knows, maybe one day she’ll join the Grindstone Team on the ice for a fun game of hockey.

Elina is passionate about languages, visual media, writing, and crafts. Prior to moving to Canada, she was working as a translator and interpreter. She has a diploma in communications from Okanagan College and is currently working as a research assistant at the college and communication coordinator at Shoe Bank Canada.

When she is not busy preparing media content or conducting research, you can find her crocheting with a cup of tea by her side, cuddling her two cats, watching horror movies, cooking Latvian dishes, and writing her blog.

Elina

WE BELIEVE


We believe that everyone has the right to play hockey – no matter their financial status. This is about giving kids the same opportunity as their classmates, their neighbors and friends.