Hockey Canada has announced a new athlete agreement with members of Canada’s National Women’s Team, pledging its ongoing support for the defending world and Olympic champions on a one-year deal.
The agreement was formalized between Hockey Canada and the Women’s High Performance Advisory Committee (WHPAC), which includes chair Renata Fast (Burlington, Ont./PWHPA), Brianne Jenner (Oakville, Ont./PWHPA), Sarah Nurse (Hamilton, Ont./PWHPA) and Blayre Turnbull (Stellarton, N.S./PWHPA). WHPAC was advised by Montreal-based 4Sport Consulting Inc. during the negotiation.
The athlete agreement provides support to 28 athletes and is effective as of Oct. 1, 2022.
WHPAC has been the voice for women’s athletes since it was first introduced shortly after the 1998 Olympic Winter Games. Its goal is to ensure members of Canada’s National Women’s Team have a voice and their needs are being met on issues ranging from athlete support and event scheduling to working together on growing the women’s game at all levels.
While support has remained ongoing, even in non-Olympic years, the athlete agreement includes on- and off-ice training support, childcare assistance, a health care spending account and performance bonuses. WHPAC also secured changes in usage of players’ Name, Image & Likeness rights and a revenue-sharing arrangement on Rivalry Series games played in Canada, allowing its athletes to benefit from the revenue generated at these events.
Canada’s National Women’s Team achieved tremendous success during the four-year cycle that ended with the 2022 IIHF Women’s World Championship, including two women’s worlds gold medals (the first since 2012), as well as a record-breaking performance en route to Olympic gold in Beijing. The financial support for the 2022-23 season is not based solely on the on-ice results, though; Hockey Canada recognizes and values the commitment athletes have to the game each year, as well as their commitment to growing the game from the grassroots level, making support for the program essential.
“It is crucial our athletes have all the tools at their disposal so they can compete at the highest level, continue to be role models and grow the game for the next generation,” said Gina Kingsbury (Rouyn-Noranda, Que.), director of hockey operations with Hockey Canada. “The support from Hockey Canada is another indication of the value we place on our athletes and the impact they continue to have on and off the ice.”
“On behalf of WHPAC, we are happy to reach an agreement for the upcoming season,” said Fast. “The increased support and resources for players and their families are essential in creating a high-performance daily training environment which allows players to focus on reaching their goals as athletes. We are an accomplished group of women, coming off a very successful 2021-22 season – we are determined to continue to represent our country with pride on the world stage, unite Canadians and leave a positive mark on the game of hockey by valuing and embodying the principles of sport.”