Grindstone Award Recipient Spotlight: Alice

Written by Sam Sgro

This recipient spotlight is all about Alice of the Vancouver Angels. Through her mom, Tina, Alice’s story and hockey journey was shared, and it is a compelling story of perseverance, hard work and determination.

Soon to be eleven years old, Alice started playing hockey at four years old out of her district because she was only eligible to start playing at five. Talk about an early passion for the sport! She is an active and cheerful child, and hockey provides her with an outlet to encourage confidence within herself, gain a sense of independence and expel her energy. Alice enjoys the meaningful friendships and relationships she makes through hockey. Her older brother has autism and a neurodevelopmental disorder, and hockey provides Alice the time and space to focus on herself and break from the challenges of having a sibling with a disability. Because her brother’s condition requires a lot of care and attention, hockey gives Alice an outlet to have time for herself and allows her parents and others to focus their attention on her and see all she is accomplishing.

Academically, hockey benefits Alice in many important ways. She is in grade six, and hockey allows her to have a mental and physical break from her schoolwork; it helps her focus and creates self-confidence. Through the lessons she learns on the ice, she can establish balance and be more grounded when she is not on the ice. 

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As for her most memorable hockey experiences, she had the opportunity to play during the intermission at the Vancouver Giants game. As a Canucks fan, another highlight for Alice was when she got to practice at Rogers Place, home of her beloved Canucks! She is a fan of Elias Pettersson for his work ethic, determination, sportsmanship qualities, and lightning-fast speed. Her team was awarded the achievement banner for not having any penalty minutes for the entirety of the 2019 season. As any hockey player knows, that is an excellent accomplishment for Alice and her teammates because it shows discipline and sportsmanship, which are both important qualities to possess to achieve success. In her last hockey season before the pandemic, Alice was given the nickname “Determination” because her coach told her that she worked very hard every time she stepped on the ice. Her commitment to hockey extends beyond just being a player. Last month, Alice started her refereeing career. This allows her to earn money as well as builds leadership and confidence, which she will continue to use throughout her hockey career and life.

Alice’s mom Tina states, “A few seasons ago, she was nervous to battle for the puck, and now she fights for the puck and battles for the play.” Alice has developed confidence on the ice to go in the corners, and battle hard for the play and the puck; the transferrable skills hockey builds, such as developing and building confidence, are why girls like Alice become successful hockey players and strong female leaders.

Grindstone Award Foundation means opportunity and inspiration for Alice and her family. Alice received a $500 financial grant from Grindstone Award Foundation to be used towards registration fees for her hockey season. In Grindstone’s partnership with the NHLPA and their Goals and Dreams fund, twenty-five sets of equipment were donated to Grindstone; Alice was a recipient of a set of this entirely brand-new equipment from head to toe. Not having to worry about the financial commitment of equipment and the cost of hockey in general, her parents could do more for both their children. The financial support means she can play in tournaments and participate in other team-related activities that build friendships, memories and interpersonal skills. Grindstone allows Alice the opportunity to pursue her hockey dreams now and in the future. Tina feels that Grindstone Award Foundation also supports and promotes a passion for girls and young women to pursue their love game. It is vital that girls are supported and passionate about the sport to grow the game and inspire the next generation of female hockey stars.

Alice has high aspirations for her journey throughout her hockey career. She wants to score a hattrick and have people throw hats on the ice for her when she accomplishes this goal! She aspires to coach younger girls within her association to give them the experience and benefit of hockey. Her sweetest aspiration is to one day be able to play hockey with her mom Tina. Tina plays in a recreational adult league and plays with many father and son duos. She and Alice both hope that when Alice is old enough, they too can be on the same line, so they find each other on the ice and score many goals together, and create wonderful mother-daughter memories.

Alice is an inspiration to many young girls because of her dedication and commitment to working hard, never giving up and being confident in herself. Through the efforts of Grindstone Award Foundation, Alice and more girls like her nationwide have the opportunity to be future leaders and inspire the next generation of female hockey stars.

To learn more about how you can help more girls like Alice play hockey, visit us at https://grindstoneaward.com/#fundraise.

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