The suspension of the women’s hockey program at the Cégep de Saint-Laurent, or at least its suspension, led to an outcry.
The decision, announced by the Montreal Foundation in recent days, has caused “anger, frustration, misunderstanding and grief”.
These are the words chosen by the famous hockey player Caroline Aulette, who rightly defended the colors of Cégep de Saint-Laurent at the dawn of her great international career during which she won four gold medals at the Olympic Games.
“My thoughts are with the former players and coaches who built this program and who have proudly represented it,” Ouellette emphasized in particular in a long text posted on her Facebook page, and also extends her sympathies to the current players. This period of my life is a real starting point for Team Canada and the Olympics
Officially, it was the problem of player and coach retention that would have prompted Cégep Saint-Laurent to make this decision. Certainly, the climate has not been good within the program in recent years.
Ouellette wrote: “Everyone agrees, we have to grow the base. Increase the number of girls playing hockey in Quebec. Yes, we have to move forward, but in the meantime, can we stop falling back by eliminating the opportunities that have been so built up in our sport?”
“How can an organization like Cégep St-Laurent dominate the college’s D1 level in men’s hockey, and even recently add and fund a men’s D2 program, but suddenly decide to stop supporting female student athletes, coaches and hockey?” Ouellette also asked.
Caroline Owlette’s comments had many echoes. Cégep de Saint-Laurent now insists it is a pause for the women’s programme. However, Isabelle Leclerc, head coach of the Carabins women’s team at the University of Montreal and alumna of the Cégep St-Laurent program, disagrees.
“Les Patriotes is a huge legacy of women’s hockey in Quebec, she commented, under Ouellette’s publication. I sincerely hope the management reverses its decision. I think the pause (if the intent is sincere) will have more detrimental consequences for the program and its ability to bounce back than acknowledging an error and reversing the decision.” “.
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