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Katie Williams

2024 Sports Honouree


katie williams sports honouree

It was nearly thirty years ago when her daughter started playing hockey with the Central York Girls Hockey Association that Katie Williams stepped up as the volunteer team trainer. 

At first glance, Katie’s resume of volunteer experience in sports and recreation reads more like that of a distinguished professional who has spent (clearly) countless hours on the job, affecting and supporting the change and growth that was needed within the teams and organizations she’s been so committed to serving.


Following her first year as volunteer team trainer, she was asked to be convenor of the Peewee division, and although she didn’t have previous experience, she had the support and encouragement of everyone around her. 


Advocating for women’s hockey and creating more opportunities for women and girls to play, learn and grow has been Katie’s passion and mission in her hometown community as well as the hockey community as a whole.


In 2000 she presented an ambitious plan to the Executives of the Association to establish a women’s division, so that all the young girls working so hard to get recruited could still have organized hockey in their community beyond their youth playing years.   After some initial reluctance, Katie’s unwavering enthusiasm and willingness to invest the time needed to bring this to fruition was granted by the Associations President with a reluctant, “OK Katie…  I’ll give you one year.”  Ironically, both of his daughters had the pleasure of playing Sunday afternoon hockey for a number of years and now, twenty-two years on, Sunday Afternoon Women’s Hockey still carries on.


In 2006 Katie proposed to the Town that a women’s House League tournament should be established and hosted annually.   In November of 2007 the first tournament was held and continued running for fourteen years.


Katie didn’t grow up playing and loving the game of hockey.  It was later in her adult life that she discovered and enjoyed being on the ice herself.  Knowing other women are out there looking to play, or looking to try something new is what keeps Katie encouraging women and girls everywhere to give it a chance.


“It’s the one hour that I don’t have to worry or think about anything but having fun.”


The value of volunteering and contributing to your community is not an easy measure but the opportunities and experiences it creates for years to come are immeasurable.  Part of the legacy Katie leaves with the Association is the requirement that all teams participate in at least one community event during the year, to educate the community about girls and women’s hockey, as well as how the Association supports community programs including both of the local food banks.


Volunteering has opened more doors than she can count, and the doors that didn’t open right away, Katie wasn’t afraid to push twice.   With a massive focus on education and empowerment, Katie and her teams over the years have challenged and overcome many obstacles and trials that have absolutely helped shape and grow women’s hockey well beyond York Region.

 

 

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