Letter to my younger self - IWD2024
by Ameeta Vohra|08 MAR 2024
Dear young girl,
I want to tell you how proud I am of you. You have come a long way.
Becoming an elite hockey player is not an easy journey. You stayed the course, sacrificing time with your family and friends. I am in awe of you pursuing your dreams on the ice passionately.
You have spent minutes, hours, days, months, and years dreaming of what is possible.  Those dreams growing up of becoming the next “Wayne Gretzky”, “Sidney Crosby”, “Jaromir Jagr” or “Dominik Hasek” of women’s hockey.
Wearing those players jerseys, holding your stick in your hands, playing on a backyard ice rink, saying “one day that will be me”. Gliding on the ice and practicing a one-timer, slapshot, or even saving a goal from trickling into the net.
Those times you spent at early-morning practices, training sessions, and late-night games. Those long days will be worth it. It takes hard-work, skill, dedication, and talent to reach your dreams.
You are a true hockey fan. On Saturday nights, you religiously watch hockey every Saturday night, studying the game inside out to see what new plays you can try in your next game. You do colour commentary on the game or grab a microphone and get into reporter mode, asking questions to players and coaches.
The many times you are playing with the boys, thinking to yourself, how is this fair? Why do boys get everything? Why don't girls have their dressing rooms? How come there is no women's team or league to play in?
Then there’s the many times you try to do your job reporting while being mocked and heckled and face harassment.  Why I am not being treated with respect? Why am I not getting the same access as the guy reporter? Why am I not treated equal to him?
I am most impressed with how you made the best of the situation. You kept that inspiration - the fire within you to chase your dream of playing hockey. All in the hopes of earning a spot on your national team and representing at the Olympic Winter Games and the IIHF Women’s World Championship.
You are also striving to be part of the game professionally. You know you want to make an impact in the sport. That same fire that motivated you to be a player also motivates you to be an equipment manager, physiotherapist, coach, reporter, beat writer, play-by-play or colour commentator – finding your way despite a world that is predominately male.
Your unrelenting hope, confidence, and strength during the journey have been remarkable.  You tuned out all the naysayers who doubted your abilities and think you know nothing about the sport. You proved those people who said you would not make it in a men's sport. 
You will continue smashing barriers and chartering new territory along the way. All the strength and resilience you have shown will pay off.
Keep believing in yourself. One day, those obstacles and smashing barriers will pay off. You will find power among other women on the same journey as you.
Be confident that things will get better. People will take notice of your efforts.
As the momentum shifts, breakthroughs will happen. You will undergo a metamorphosis. You will experience seasons of seismic change.
You will make history in different roles and ways. It might not always seem like the world is listening, but each day you show up makes you a trailblazer.
You will have many firsts. And sometimes you’ll fail. But you’ll pick yourself up and recommit to the cause. You will be a pioneer, paving the way to open up opportunities for other girls to be involved in the sport, free of any challenges or barriers.
You will be able to conquer with success, finally winning the fight to have a women’s professional hockey league. You belong and have a sense of purpose.
However, you are still motivated and dedicated to fighting for equal pay, funding, and access to facilities and resources.
This fight is not just for you. It’s for all the women in hockey today,  yesterday, and tomorrow.
Keep fighting the fight. Keep standing tall and proud. Keep representing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the sport. 
Keep making hockey a place where everyone and anyone can feel supported, encouraged, and safe playing the sport they love.
Celebrate your hard-earned victories on and off the ice. Take time to embrace the challenges and turn them into even more opportunities. Reflect on the adversity you have overcome because your work and journey have made a difference.
Be inspired, knowing the work is not over. There is more to accomplish and more barriers to smash.
Good luck, you shining superstar!