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Leadership, Resilience, and Ice Hockey: What You Can Learn This April


No matter your experience with ice hockey, Harrow wants you to know that “there is a place for you and there are a lot of people doing good work to make sure that the sport truly is for everyone.”

Ice hockey is one of the sports on the rise in pop culture, from the viral TikTok video of fans singing along to Taylor Swift at a recent PWHL game to the addition of one of our annual partners, the Seattle Kraken. For Mel Harrow, our WISE Seattle 2023 Women of Inspiration winner, she first fell in love with hockey after seeing it on TV. “I just like told my parents that I want to try this and they were like all right let's find an ice rink.” She started out at classes in Kirkland at a ‘learn to skate’ class and quickly got involved in her first hockey league.

Ice hockey continued to hold a special place in her heart, “I really loved the flow of the game as well as its intensity. It felt so different from everything else I was doing.” She would go on to play college hockey at Buffalo State University before starting her career working in sports.

When transitioning off the ice, Harrow said, “I learned to put my mind to something and follow through with it. I also realized that I could look at the skills I had that helped me in the sport and see how I could apply them to the workforce. I always encourage students to think about what they love when they play a sport and how that could relate to a future career.”

“Playing a team sport like ice hockey also taught me about leadership, everything from what a good leader looks like to what a bad leader looks like. It’s all about soaking in those leadership moments to create your style as a leader.”

Since being named WISE Seattle’s 2023 Women of Inspiration last fall, Harrow has been empowered to continue her work on closing the gender gaps in sports. One recent project that she’s excited about is launching “Our Space in Sport” project. “I worked with the King County Play Equity Coalition, UW Center for Leadership in Athletics, and a few other community groups to come together to create a conference that is specifically for girls and non-binary high school athletes. The goal is to help the athletes feel equipped in their sport to be not just the leader but to feel good about learning about themselves mentally and physiologically and that they feel like they can thrive. We hosted our first one earlier this month and I’m excited to be planning for next year’s.”

We’re thrilled to have Mel host our next monthly chapter event, Ice Hockey 101 on Wednesday, April 10th at the Kraken Ice Complex. If you’re nervous about ice skating or have never played ice hockey before, don’t worry, Mel has you covered. Attendees can “expect to be in an environment where they are going to be celebrated and supported to explore the game of hockey, however they feel comfortable.” Whether it’s stepping on the ice for the first time or putting on some pads and playing with a puck, Harrow is just excited to expose more people to the game of hockey and will have a team of ice volunteers there to help as well.

The evening will start with some networking, light bites, and the opportunity to ask questions about hockey before transitioning to the ice. Attendance is free for WISE members and includes any ice skates/equipment that you’ll need to participate (Register today!).

Outside of our April event, Harrow hopes that you are inspired to watch and explore more ice hockey experiences. The Seattle Women’s Hockey Club hosts skate nights and have a league specifically for adults. The Seattle Pride Hockey Association also has a league for LGBTQIA+ athletes and allies to participate in. If you’re looking for more hockey information, give Alison Lukan a follow. “She’s a Kraken analyst and not only breaks things down for people but is super fun as well. She’s a great person to follow to learn more about what’s going on in the NHL, the Kraken, and hockey overall. I’m also so excited about the developments with the PWHL and all the buzz they’re getting around their games.”

No matter your experience with ice hockey, Harrow wants you to know that “there is a place for you and there are a lot of people doing good work to make sure that the sport truly is for everyone. If you want to learn more about how to get into hockey, I’m happy to be a resource.” If you’d like to connect directly with Mel Harrow, connect with her on LinkedIn here.

We look forward to seeing you at our April 10th event, click here to register to join us (reminder: this event registration is through the Kraken Ice Complex).

#WISESeattle #In-PersonEvent #WOI #Featured


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