TRURO, N.S. – Shawn Evans has developed a new passion.
“I love to coach kids, and to me the new passion is female hockey,” said Evans. “I’m not a coach that’s coaching for the provincial title, but it’s not my goal. My goals are to help young ladies improve their skills, and team spirit and learning how to be part of a team; those are the important things for me.”
Evans, 52, is head coach of the Wilsons Home Heating Colchester Cyclones atom A female team, which his daughter Lucy plays for. It’s his third year with the program; he coached his daughter Willa for two seasons at the atom A and peewee A levels.
Hockey Nova Scotia recognized his contribution to the female game by naming Evans the Fundy-Highland winner of a Coaches Day award. HNS received more than 120 nominations from parents and players and selected 14 provincial winners last Saturday.
“I didn’t know it was coming and it’s one of the nicest things I’ve ever received, to be honest, and it’s much appreciated,” Evans said.
Evans is also head coach and general manager of the Truro Bearcats Maritime Junior Hockey League club, and said coaching the female team puts that job in perspective.
“The paying job, obviously that’s important, but when I get to be out with the females it reminds me of what hockey is all about.”
Evans wears multiple hats in female hockey. He is also a board member for both the Cyclones and the Fundy-Highland region, which represents teams in Colchester, Pictou, Antigonish and Guysborough counties.
“On a personal level, I got into that because I want to learn more about female hockey and I like to try and make a difference,” he said. “It’s not just about the team I coach or my daughters; we’re a small association, we only have three teams and our numbers aren’t good enough and we’re looking for females to come and play; simple as that. We’re proud of the teams we have, we’re proud of the girls that play, but we need more and we want our program to grow.”
In addition to atom and peewee teams, the Cyclones also ice a midget AA squad. Teams practice twice a week and play two games on weekends.
New this season is a Cyclones novice program recently initiated by Dale Miller and Charlene Bagnell. Almost 20 girls are members of the novice team, which will play a series of exhibition games at the annual Cyclones Spring Thaw tournament in Debert in March.
Female hockey both competitive and fun
TRURO, N.S. – Shawn Evans says all-female hockey offers the opportunity to be competitive and to enjoy the game.
“You can still be a very good hockey player playing female,” he said. “I’ve learned in my hockey experiences that it doesn’t matter if you play with the boys or the girls, if you’re a good hockey player and if you aspire to go as far as you can, in the hockey world now, no matter where you play, somebody’s going to find you.
“For the people who are looking for a great experience and just to have fun, there’s not a better place to be. People should come and check it out sometime, to be in an all-female dressing room; it’s pretty fun stuff.”