URBAN HERO: Jennifer Smith helps girls, women enjoy playing hockey

Sports Oct 12, 2017 East York Mirror

Jennifer Smith loves everything about hockey.

Growing up, she would watch the sport on television and play lots of it on the rink and on the street.

But she never played organized hockey until she attended the University of Toronto and joined a women’s intramural league.

“I played for four years and really didn’t think I’d play hockey after that,” she said, until she found out about a women’s recreational league starting up in 1992.

“I’ve played ever since,” she added.

Now 49, Smith is the president of the Toronto Leaside Girls Hockey Association, which operates out of the city’s east end.

She became involved with the organization back in 2003 as an assistant coach of her daughter’s hockey team.

“I don’t think I would have ever imagined in 2003 that 14 years later I would have had this incredible opportunity to help with our board, with our hundreds of volunteers, to shape and grow this organization in the way that we have,” she said.

Founded in 1974, it was established to create opportunities for girls and women, regardless of their skill level.

Currently, the association operates a wide-range of programs with over 1,600 members.

“Creating a solid, positive environment for these athletes is important,” Smith said.

Her commitment and passion for helping women in hockey is what earned her  a nomination for an Urban Hero award from her colleague June Smyth.

“She just wants every girl who’s interested in playing to be able to play at the best level for them and to love the game,” Smyth said. “I’ve always admired Jennifer and looked up to her because not only is she dealing with a difficult position, but she manages it with grace and understanding and really tries to help people.”

Smith said she’s happy being recognized for her work, but she said she can’t do it alone.

“There’s 13 of us on this board, and there are hundreds of volunteers in this organization … I’m just one person; it takes many volunteers to put 1,600 players on the ice every week,” she said. “This is lovely, but really, it’s a team award.”

URBAN HERO: Jennifer Smith helps girls, women enjoy playing hockey

2017 Urban Hero winner - Sports category

Sports Oct 12, 2017 East York Mirror

Jennifer Smith loves everything about hockey.

Growing up, she would watch the sport on television and play lots of it on the rink and on the street.

But she never played organized hockey until she attended the University of Toronto and joined a women’s intramural league.

“I played for four years and really didn’t think I’d play hockey after that,” she said, until she found out about a women’s recreational league starting up in 1992.

“I’ve played ever since,” she added.

Now 49, Smith is the president of the Toronto Leaside Girls Hockey Association, which operates out of the city’s east end.

She became involved with the organization back in 2003 as an assistant coach of her daughter’s hockey team.

“I don’t think I would have ever imagined in 2003 that 14 years later I would have had this incredible opportunity to help with our board, with our hundreds of volunteers, to shape and grow this organization in the way that we have,” she said.

Founded in 1974, it was established to create opportunities for girls and women, regardless of their skill level.

Currently, the association operates a wide-range of programs with over 1,600 members.

“Creating a solid, positive environment for these athletes is important,” Smith said.

Her commitment and passion for helping women in hockey is what earned her  a nomination for an Urban Hero award from her colleague June Smyth.

“She just wants every girl who’s interested in playing to be able to play at the best level for them and to love the game,” Smyth said. “I’ve always admired Jennifer and looked up to her because not only is she dealing with a difficult position, but she manages it with grace and understanding and really tries to help people.”

Smith said she’s happy being recognized for her work, but she said she can’t do it alone.

“There’s 13 of us on this board, and there are hundreds of volunteers in this organization … I’m just one person; it takes many volunteers to put 1,600 players on the ice every week,” she said. “This is lovely, but really, it’s a team award.”

URBAN HERO: Jennifer Smith helps girls, women enjoy playing hockey

2017 Urban Hero winner - Sports category

Sports Oct 12, 2017 East York Mirror

Jennifer Smith loves everything about hockey.

Growing up, she would watch the sport on television and play lots of it on the rink and on the street.

But she never played organized hockey until she attended the University of Toronto and joined a women’s intramural league.

“I played for four years and really didn’t think I’d play hockey after that,” she said, until she found out about a women’s recreational league starting up in 1992.

“I’ve played ever since,” she added.

Now 49, Smith is the president of the Toronto Leaside Girls Hockey Association, which operates out of the city’s east end.

She became involved with the organization back in 2003 as an assistant coach of her daughter’s hockey team.

“I don’t think I would have ever imagined in 2003 that 14 years later I would have had this incredible opportunity to help with our board, with our hundreds of volunteers, to shape and grow this organization in the way that we have,” she said.

Founded in 1974, it was established to create opportunities for girls and women, regardless of their skill level.

Currently, the association operates a wide-range of programs with over 1,600 members.

“Creating a solid, positive environment for these athletes is important,” Smith said.

Her commitment and passion for helping women in hockey is what earned her  a nomination for an Urban Hero award from her colleague June Smyth.

“She just wants every girl who’s interested in playing to be able to play at the best level for them and to love the game,” Smyth said. “I’ve always admired Jennifer and looked up to her because not only is she dealing with a difficult position, but she manages it with grace and understanding and really tries to help people.”

Smith said she’s happy being recognized for her work, but she said she can’t do it alone.

“There’s 13 of us on this board, and there are hundreds of volunteers in this organization … I’m just one person; it takes many volunteers to put 1,600 players on the ice every week,” she said. “This is lovely, but really, it’s a team award.”