This I Believe

Ashlynne - sugarland,Texas,77478, Texas
Entered on November 15, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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Everyone says that boys are better than girls are at sports, but I prove them

wrong. I am a girl and I play on an all boys hockey team, and I bet you I’m just as good

as the boy goalies. I believe that girls are equal to boys, because gender doesn’t determine your drive to play.

My brother got me stared play hockey when I was six. The first thing I

remember was someone coming up to my dad asking how long this was going to last for, implying that he didn’t think it would. Even for a six year old, I understood it was going to be a long journey if I wanted to play hockey. Little did that man know, his comment made me want to play even more. My brother and I practice for hours each night to make us both better. We wanted to be so good.

Five years later after many years of practice I go the never to try out for

an all guys team. There were no locker rooms for girls, just the bathroom. While I was getting dressed, I asked myself why am I doing this, the only answer that came to my mind was love, love for the game. The boys didn’t have faith in me, the organization didn’t have faith in me, it seemed that only my family had faith in me. Family was all I needed, they were the ones who pushed me so hard to play and try out for this team.

Out on the ice everything left my mind, and for that one hour, I was me

and no one could change that. I worked the hardest out of everyone on the ice, I was equal to the boys, except for a huge barrier called gender. The coach didn’t seem to care he saw my effort and posted the team with my name first. I knew there was more though, my coach pulled me aside and said “If your going to be on this team you have to work harder them the boys. Nothing can get to you; you have to block out the stares, the comments, and the hate words. You need to believe in yourself because not many people believe in you, put up a shield. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not good enough. Remember why you want it so badly, but most importantly you have to be strong. If you can do all this, I want you on my team.” I thought about what he said for a few minutes.

Then I said “Yes sir, I want it so much more than them, thank your for

this opportunity and I promise I wont let you down.”

From that moment on, I knew there was more to hockey than just the

game. That season I worked the hardest I possibly could, so hard I earned a spot on the top team when I was twelve. Once I signed the papers, my new coach saw me off the ice and realized I was a girl. He didn’t play me much, but I came to all the practices and took every chance to be come better. Toward play offs the other goalie got hurt, coach had no choice but to play me. Everyone was amazed when our team went to states and won the championship for two tournaments. After the championship game for states, three different girls team asked me to be on their teams, I turned each one down knowing that boys hockey is what I wanted to play.

Now at thirteen I play on two teams, a boys U14 and a girls U16.

I chose to play girls, because that was the only way I could be seen by the right scouts. There have been bumps along the way, but they have made me who I am. To know how many peoples out looks on girls’ hockey I have changed makes me think of that first coach and think who’s laughing now? This makes my belief so much stronger, because girls are equal to boys, because gender does not determine your drive to play.