Local athlete, Ava Revoal is excited to encourage other women, and women of colour to get involved in local sports, after being a recipient of the Black Girl Hockey Club Scholarship.
“I was really excited that I had won because there aren’t many black girls playing hockey, I was really glad so I could show more black girls playing the sport,” Revoal said.
For Revoal, it was important to apply for the Black Girl Hockey Club Scholarship as the sport is a male dominate, and she has had to continually prove to her teammates that she deserves a spot on the team.
“Usually, the girls look up to the boys while playing, and most of the time I was looked down on because some boys think sports are just for boys, I was never passed too, or never included in their groups.”
Adding “I’ve worked hard over the summer and winter, so now I’m as good as them or even better,” Revoal said.
Throughout the summer and winter, Revoal practices at home with a hockey net in front of her house and is now working with Becky McGee and Danielle Goyette from the SDR Academy.
To qualify for the Black Girl Hockey Club Scholarship, Revoal was required to have a high-grade point average, be involved in sport, and write an essay on her values with a focus on black women across the globe involved in sport, what it means for the black community, and for her personally.
“This scholarship will help me by continuing to learn new hockey skills, help others build up their confidence, and help me make my dream come true. Which is becoming a role model for young, coloured women athletes. It will also help me, my community, and other young female athletes to show that you can find your courage and strength in sports or by doing something that you love,” Revoal said in her essay.
“For Ava, she was quite nervous applying for the scholarship and writing the essay, when she put her mind to it and did an excellent job, it was a huge boost of confidence for her. It really gave her a nudge in the direction that she could promote this sport to her friends and other women of colour in Chestermere,” said Ava’s mother, Celeste Revoal.
“Working with Becky McGee and Danielle Goyette and seeing their accomplishments is making Ava see how far she can go with the hockey program, and it gave her the boost of confidence that girls can succeed,” she said.
In Ava’s essay, she explains that McGee has helped her improve her hockey skills, and learn the game of hockey.
“Even though I am colored, I am still going to have to raise my bar a little higher than a non-colored woman. Even though I have to work much harder than a non-colored woman, I still love being part of the black community, and being a role model for young black women,” Ava said.
For Ava’s father, Nathan Revoal and Celeste, it’s extremely important to ensure Ava is a student first, and an athlete second.
“The key component to getting the scholarship was also being great in the classroom not only on ice. She’s an honour roll student, she competes in the classroom and on the ice. They go hand in hand,” Nathan said.
The Revoal family is now encouraging anyone eligible to apply for the Black Girl Hockey Club Scholarship to apply.
“Ava’s been able to have a couple of zoom calls with the leadership, and calls with female hockey players, which is great, they can guide her through not only being a female athlete but being a minority athlete and the challenges that arise unlike some of her white counterparts,” Nathan said.
Adding, “She will be a trailblazer, and with all the things happening today she can bring some positivity and put smiles on people’s faces.”
For Ava, meeting new people, learning how to work with different age groups, learning how to work with others, skating, and encouraging other female athletes to continue or get involved in sport is why she keeps pushing despite the challenges she has faced as a female athlete.
“I have seen far too many girls in my community quit hockey due to the fact that there are not enough girls’ programs or have the feeling that males dominate the sport. I have the drive and the determination to succeed in this sport,” Ava wrote in her essay.