NASHVILLE – The Black girls hockey club received a lot of help from Southern hockey hospitality over the weekend.
The group of female hockey fans of color have the Nashville Predators-St louis Blues matinee Sunday followed by the 2019 National Women’s Hockey League All-Star Game by Bridgestone Arena.
The Preds and the NWHL gave BGHC members and supporters the ya’ll come treatment. The Predators hosted a skating session for the group on Bridgestone Arena ice on Saturday morning, showing the Canadian filmmaker Damon Kwame Mason’s awarded “Soul on ice, past, present and future” black hockey history documentary about the stadium’s Jumbotron.
BGHC members met Predators defender PK Subban after the Blues’ 5-4 victory over Nashville. The outcome of the match did not diminish Subban’s gracefulness in posing for photos and chatting with the group.
The NWHL reserved an excellent seat for BGHC at the All-Star Match Skills Competition held at a packed house on Saturday. Ford Ice Centerthe Predators’ training facility.
The women watched Buffalo Beauts defender Blake Bolden wins the toughest shot competition by launching an 80-mile-per-shot shot. Bolden, the only black woman in the two NWHL All-Star groups, said she was pumped by the BGHC presence.
“It’s so great, I definitely noticed when my name was mentioned you guys were yelling, it made me feel so good,” Bolden, who has 1 goal and 7 assists in 13 games with Buffalo. this season, the group said after the competition. “I appreciate you so much for being there.”
Nearly three dozen colored women, their families and friends, traveled from California, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Washington, DC and Georgia to attend the weekend festivities and cherish the soul sisterhood of hockey fandom.
The Black Girl Hockey Club was founded by Renee Hessa Riverside, California, woman trying to get a critical mass of colored women who, like her, are interested in hockey but may be reluctant to attend matches in stadiums where minority fans are truly a minority.
“The whole reason I wanted to come to Nashville was to see the girls play,” Hess said of the NWHL players. “I saw them on video, but never live, so it’s very cool. They are fast, they are good, I have to see some (Olympic) gold medal winners skating today, I mean it’s really great. ”
Lisa Ramos drove nine hours from Biloxi, Mississippi, to join the BGHC meeting in Nashville. She said the ride was no sweat as she and her husband sometimes drive to Canada and see her son, defender Ayodele Adeniye, play for the Carleton Place Canadiana Junior A team in the Central Canada Hockey League.
Adeniye has committed to playing hockey for the next season University of Alabama-Huntsville Chargers, an NCAA Section I team in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.
“It was great to get together with other black female hockey fans and just enjoy the sport, talk about the sport, find out how they got into the sport of hockey – everyone came through different paths,” he said. Ramos said.
@CIHockeyClub represented when I met PK. Had an amazing weekend together @BlackGirlHockey! Thank you very much @BlackGirlHockey, @soulonicemovie and @ColorOfHockey for presenting a phenomenal experience !!! pic.twitter.com/LO6LleuXu0
– Lisa Ramos (@ hkymom99) February 10, 2019
Eunice Artist and her teenage son, Isaiah Artist, said they felt “at home” attending the NWHL events and the Predators game. They ventured from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, to Nashville.
“It’s nice to see a lot of people of color enjoying hockey,” said Eunice Artis. “You go to hockey games, whether it’s my son playing or a professional game, and literally you’re the only person there or you’re one of two people there. I just feel like here is unity and I feel at home. It was great to see the women play, especially a professional woman of color (Bolden) who brings it home. ”
Follow the color of hockey on Facebook and Twitter @ColorOfHockey. And download the Color of Hockey podcast from iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud, and Google Play.