We spoke with Diane Martin of SiouxNami all about their team, how they came to be, and their plans for Richmond in 2020. Check it out below!
"Because we are in a small town our team isn’t a “regular” team. About 15 years ago, women’s hockey started in Sioux Lookout – a town in Northwestern Ontario, population of about 5,300. When we started there were about 20 women. We have grown to have about 50 women registered for hockey now in Sioux Lookout. The players range from 19 to women in their 50’s. Some started playing ringette and converted to hockey later in life. Some played hockey right through. Some didn’t take up hockey until their 30’s or 40’s. Up until this year, we have just split whoever showed up to play into teams and scrimmaged. Over the years we have gone in tournaments but never playing together solely as this team.
This year our women’s hockey league actually has a “league” of 3 teams, but the players from this CARHA Hockey World Cup team are scattered over the 3 teams and two are actually not living here anymore."
Tell us about your team – What is your team name? How long have you been a team for?
Our team name is SiouxNami. Some of us have played together since women’s hockey started in our town and others have only played together for 2 years. The team name comes from a team we entered in the past in a summer hockey tournament. Of this team, 8 of the 11 have played together in this summer tournament at one time or another.
Which CARHA Hockey World Cup tournaments have you played in? Any favourite memories or moments?
I have played in both of them that had women’s teams. Two others from this team have as well. I also went as a spectator to watch my husband in 2008 in Quebec City. I talked to every CARHA Hockey representative there asking why there wasn’t a women’s division as our insurance was always with CARHA Hockey. I had gotten someone’s contact info and sent a long email after. I like to think I had some small part in having women included. My favourite tournament was in Sault Ste. Marie. I think because it was a smaller venue and there was less accessible night life outside the door, everyone went to the Athlete’s Village. It was “rocking” every night. We met so many people from different countries.
Another favourite memory was also in Sault Ste. Marie. The last game we played was at the Essar Centre (where the Soo Greyhounds play in the OHL). We played before the final game of the men’s open division. Our game ended with almost a full arena as they were there early to watch the next game. It was a bit intimidating!
Windsor was great again as we made some new friends that joined our team. One from Windsor, some from Toronto area, and from Sault Ste. Marie. Our goalie and 2 ladies from Nova Scotia that played in Sault Ste. Marie also joined us in Windsor so we were able to reconnect.
What interests you about the CARHA Hockey World Cup as a tournament?
I love meeting all of the people and just the atmosphere of the entire event. The opening ceremonies has always been great. The camaraderie and just being with the team and playing the game we love! It is nice to go and check out the city that hosts the tournament.
What are you most looking forward to about Richmond in 2020?
Well, other than playing hockey with a great group of ladies, I’m looking forward to checking out the area, hoping to do a whale watching tour. My husband and I are staying longer to do some sightseeing on the Island. He is also playing on a men’s team.
What is it that makes hockey so special in this country?
It just brings people together! Two of the girls on my team don't live in Sioux Lookout anymore. This was a great way for all of us to get together again. Also, in the previous two tournaments, we didn't have enough interest from our home town and we picked up players from all over. Our goalie was from Alberta, two girls from Nova Scotia, some locals from the area in each tournament. I still keep in touch with most of them and have visited them when I’m in their area!