The second Global Girls’ Game is over. From the first puck drop in Dunedin, New Zealand, to the final buzzer in Toronto, Canada, the game was played over two days in 38 countries on six continents.
Although the scores of course mattered for the players giving it all, the real winner in the end became girls’ and women’s hockey.
During the 45 hours between the first face-off and the end of the final game the initiative showed that ice hockey is fun for everybody, that it’s not a matter of gender or age, and that there are no cultural borders in hockey.
After each hour-long game the girls had reason to smile with old and new teammates. Once their game was over, their virtual teammates from other countries picked up the baton and continued to play the long game miles away.
In the end all of the roughly 1,000 female players had a reason to smile, thanks to the message that was sent from the ice to the global community following the event on-site, through the media or internet as photos and videos were shared all around the world.
The games were quite different. In some countries national team players were mixed with newcomers, adults with girls. In other games club teams played each other, were mixed from different teams, or taken from regional and national junior selections. In other countries the concept was even repeated nationwide: with one Global Girls’ Game kicking off games across the country as was done in Australia and the United States. The game was even streamed live in several countries including Finland, Russia and Ukraine.
Finding ice time is not always easy but organizers didn’t give up. For example, the first Global Girls’ Game in South America couldn’t be played as planned on Saturday but the game in Buenos Aires, Argentina, eventually happened on Sunday.
Several other countries took part for the first time to spread the Global Girls’ Game over 38 countries. The initiative spread from the traditional ice hockey hotbeds in North America and Europe with two games in Oceania, four in Asia from Japan in the east to the United Arab Emirates in the west of the continent, one each in Africa, Central America and South America.
Some of the teams did nice videos that went viral such as a human bowling sequence on ice in Belfast, Northern Ireland and a global cheering in Kaunas, Lithuania. In Hamar, Norway, the girls even went onto the ice through an intro with flames and had a Global Girls’ Game-themed video cube.
Initiatives like this and the World Girls’ Ice Hockey Weekend, also held annually, help to raise the sports’ visibility and promote growth. For instance, Lithuania needed to invite a Latvian club team to organize the first women’s hockey game during the first Global Girls’ Game. This year, they were able to gather 34 female players on their own for the second edition.
Ukraine used the recruitment events to start its first women’s hockey championship this season. The players for the first Global Girls’ Game participation were recruited from the five clubs to create sort of an all-star game for the new competition as part of the Global Girls’ Game.
The games were here to have fun but especially in smaller women’s hockey communities it was also an opportunity to watch the talent play in mixed teams and different age groups. The participants were mostly teenage girls, although the range overall went from six-year-olds to women over 40. For instance, in Ice Hockey UK’s game in Sheffield, 13-year-old Charlotte Harris stood out scoring all five goals of the game that included 39 girls aged between 11 and 18.
Although only one game was organized per country, it was not the only one in the United Kingdom as the Irish Ice Hockey Association took its game to UK territory in Northern Ireland due to lack of facilities in the southern part. In Belfast, once a troubled city due to different political and religious views, ice hockey united people once again as girls from both parts of the island came together in joint teams.
The Global Girls’ Game started on Saturday in New Zealand when it was still Friday in other parts of the world, and it ended in Toronto on Sunday evening when it was already Monday in other places. The players in Canada held the flags of the other countries with the scores in the air. And once their game was over, the final aggregate score was 135-128 for Team Blue but everybody who participated on and off the ice in the 38 countries was a winner in the name of women’s hockey.
for find the scores and game information. Click here
for the photo gallery.