Inside Brock University student hosted Isobel Cup watch party

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As the Isobel Cup was being contested in Wesley Chapel, Florida, a small but enthusiastic watch party gathered on the campus of Brock University.

It was a humble affair, the game projected onto a classroom screen, noisemakers bought from the dollar store, and boxes of snacks sitting on desks. A bulletin board, markers and a few trips to the library printer were all that was needed to form cheer sections for both teams.

The event was organized by a third-year sports management student named Kyra Kwan with the help of her professor, Dr. Taylor McKee.

Kwan was working on a project in one of Dr. McKee’s classes, working with the Grindstone Award Foundation when the topic of women’s hockey came up.

“He asked a bunch of us what we wanted to do with our careers and I said ‘I want to do something with women’s hockey’ and he was like ‘come and talk to me afterwards and we’ll try to do something’ so I went and talked to him. He brought up the idea of ​​a watch party and said he would help me out, book the room and try to put me in touch with the PHF,” Kwan said.

Kwan started planning the watch party from there, she contacted a handful of organizations in Brock to help promote the event and eventually reached out to PHF Vice President of Promotions and Marketing, Katie Gardner, who arranged for Kwan to get in touch with the PHF social team.

“It’s pretty surreal,” Kwan said, “I woke up and checked my email and saw an email from PHF and I was kind of freaked out. I was just in disbelief because I was like “why would they care about a college student like me,” Kwan said.

Kwan sent graphics and links to PHF who then promoted the event through their own channels.

“Once they retweeted my tweet, it got about 60 likes and five retweets, which is a lot for me as I have less than thirty followers,” Kwan joked.

The lookout party brought visibility to women’s hockey, a sport that (despite Brock’s extensive sports management program). doesn’t always get the same exposure as men’s sports on campus. Kwan has been playing hockey since she was five, but it wasn’t until later that she learned about women’s hockey outside of the Olympics.

“I had no idea what they would be doing when it wasn’t an Olympic year,” Kwan said.

It wasn’t until high school that Kwan realized there were professional women’s hockey leagues.

“In high school I tried to do a co-op with the Markham Thunder but it fell through and I ended up volunteering with them for a few games,”

When the CWHL folded, Kwan followed the players to the PWHPA and began volunteering whenever they had events in Toronto. Kwan is a Toronto Six fan and was hoping to see them in the Isobel Cup final.

When the puck fell, most of the spectators were cheering for the whale, but quickly decided that both teams should get posters and someone to cheer on when they scored. At times, everyone was obsessed with the game, watching Jillian Dempsey open the scoring, encouraging the whale to tie things up. At other times, it was an opportunity to talk about all things hockey.

The timing wasn’t the best for the students, so Kwan wasn’t expecting much from the viewing party, but she hopes the idea can grow and continue to bring women’s hockey fans together at the University. Brock.

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