My name is Charice. I work as a teacher and as a hockey coach. I coach in a neighborhood where there aren’t many rinks nearby. The rink that I have worked at for nearly twelve years is extremely male-dominated and unfortunately, I’m the only female hockey coach.
When I first started working here, I recognized that there was a very limited girls program. So, I started one! My program focuses on getting girls to be more passionate about hockey, to empower them, and to help them feel more self-confident.
My childhood is what really inspired me to do all of this. I grew up playing and loving hockey. I started when I was in third grade and immediately fell in love with the sport. In the fifth grade, I came home from school and my grandmother noticed that I had a big lump under my right arm. I quickly found out that it was a cancerous tumour. My doctor told me that I would never be able to play sports again; more specifically that I would never be able to shoot a puck. I remember telling myself that there was no way a doctor was going to tell me what to do or define who I was. I went through the necessary treatments with the thought of getting back on the ice motivating me.
My childhood taught me how to be strong, both physically and mentally. It was a time where I was motivated to recover and get back on the ice, which is what I did. Something that is so magical to me is positivity and enthusiasm. That’s what I try to translate to all of the kids at the rink.
P.K. is someone who is always smiling, who is always positive, and who always remains enthusiastic. He gets ripped apart by the press all the time, but he never lets any of that define him, just like I never let my cancer define me.
Thank you P.K. for always reminding me to keep a smile on my face!