TORONTO – December 17 – The Women’s Team Canada’s goal is to have a program that not only produces elite ball hockey players but also creates a culture that clearly defines what it means to play for Team Canada. We want to ensure that involvement with Women’s Team Canada creates a life experience so these athletes can assist in furthering the development of the game within their home centers. We also want to have these athletes to have the opportunity to continue to compete and represent Canada for years to come. It provides a solid bridge between the provincial, national and international programs to compete at the World Ball Hockey Federation (WBHF) Championships.
The World Ball Hockey Championships for the women’s division are held every two years (odd years) in various regions. The events are hosted in the month of May or June and for 2015 the men’s and women’s divisions will be hosted in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The National Ball Hockey Association of Canada (NBHAC) has recently named, Ms. Natalie Spooner as the Global Ambassador for the Women’s Team Canada program. Our ambassador has experienced the power of sport, and its ability to build essential life skills such as self-esteem, discipline, fair play, respect and teamwork.
A little about our Ambassador: Natalie was born in Toronto. Her parents moved from England and the Spooner’s had sought out a sport for their three sons that was fun included good exercise and taught teamwork and commitment. Hockey fit perfectly and her parents had become experts in driving to local rinks and backyard rink construction. It was on this backyard rink, and in the family driveway, that Natalie first discovered her passion and began to hone her own hockey skills.
Natalie began to play organized hockey at age four playing one year of boy’s hockey before switching to the Durham West Lightning Girls Hockey Association where she played for the next twelve seasons. After high school she had over 30 scholarship offers and selected, The Ohio State University and joined the Buckeyes in 2008. She holds the all-time school goal scoring record and was named an All-American, All-WCHA First Team and was a Patty Kazmaier finalist (for the top player in NCAA Division 1 Women’s Ice Hockey).
Throughout her career Natalie has always sought further development beginning with hockey school, Team Ontario and eventually Team Canada. She was the first player to compete for Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team, the National Women’s Under-22 and the National Women’s Team successfully moving through all levels of the Hockey Canada’s Women’s Development Program. She was also a member of the 2012 IIHF Women’s World Championship team, 2007 Ontario Ball Hockey Association Women’s ‘A’ Provincial Ball Hockey Champions with the Oshawa Stampede and won the 2009 World Championships in ball hockey!
In 2012, Natalie was selected in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League draft to her home town team, the Toronto Furies where continues her pursuit for championships and her pursuit of the Clarkson Cup and to grow the CWHL in her home town.
Outside of hockey Natalie is an avid volunteer, having served on the Hockey Canada Women’s High Performance Advisory Committee and on the Ohio State Student-Athlete Relations Committee. She has also supported the Toronto 2012 Ontario Summer Games where she was the co-ordinator for the Boys U14 and Girls U18 Ontario Ball Hockey Association divisions of competition, the Playing for Keeps program, the Race for the Cure and local Community Kitchens.
She was on Team Canada that won gold at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi and recently competed on Amazing Race Canada and finished second among the teams and recently played for Team Canada at the Four Nations Hockey Championships where the team won the gold medal after a shoot out versus the United States of America.
For players interested in the WTC Program, players are encouraged to qualify for their provincial team(s) competing at the Nationals, because a player's ability is more effectively measured against the best competition available.
Ball Hockey…..IT IS OUR GAME!!