Whitehorse Daily Star

Image title

Photo by Photo Submitted

A RISING TEAMMATE – Yukon hockey player Arnica Bulmer, pictured here playing with her school team Shawnigan, was one of 21 young women selected to be part of the inauguarl Scotia Rising Teammates program.

Bulmer chosen for Rising Teammate program

Yukon hockey player Arnica Bulmer, 15, who currently plays at Shawnigan Lake School in B.C., was one of 21 participants chosen for the inaugural Scotia Rising Teammates mentorship program.

By Whitehorse Star on April 1, 2021

Yukon hockey player Arnica Bulmer, 15, who currently plays at Shawnigan Lake School in B.C., was one of 21 participants chosen for the inaugural Scotia Rising Teammates mentorship program.

The 21 mentees, from across the country, were announced March 7 during the Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest virtual summit.

According to a press release, “research shows that by age 14, girls drop out of sports at twice the rate of boys. One of the many barriers contributing to this decrease in participation is the lack of female role models and mentors. While female coaches keep girls engaged, only 27 per cent of youth coaches are women.”

That’s why, in partnership with Hockey Canada and the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA), Scotiabank recognized the 21 young women for their demonstration of outstanding play, leadership, and teamwork – both on and off the ice.

Through the program, mentees work with their mentors virtually in group and individual sessions.

Being selected to the program was a big surprise for Bulmer.

“I was told about it but knew nothing about it,” said Bulmer. “My coach at Shawnigan (Carly Haggard) had lots to do with it. My coach did so much and I am extremely grateful. I wouldn’t be here without her.

“My parents were the ones that told me I was chosen. It was a huge surprise and took a while to process but it is a huge honour.”

Bulmer’s mentor is Sarah Nurse. Nurse is on the Canadian women’s national ice hockey team and won silver at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Her debut on the national team came in 2015 at the 4 Nations Cup.

“My sessions are all online with my mentor,” said Bulmer. “It’s been really fun to speak and amazing to learn from people you grew up admiring.”

Since being in the program, Bulmer said Nurse has already given her sound advice on how to continue to chase her goals.

“She said keep doing it because you love it and support the people who are helping you,” said Bulmer. “You have to be yourself and work hard, be passionate about things and it will turn out your way.

“It’s been good advice. You need to keep pushing even during tougher times. We’ve been learning about what they went through and the process on how they got to where they are at.”

Bulmer said Nurse has also been helpful in giving her nutrition advice, off-ice training, and work outs.

Once the program is over, Bulmer said she is excited to share what she has learned with her teammates at Shawnigan, and when she returns to the territory, her Yukon teammates as well.

“My teammates have been really supportive of me and making sure I am at all my sessions,” said Bulmer. “This isn’t just for me but my teammates as well. I’ve been bringing back everything I learn to them.

“I hope the girls from the Yukon are inspired by this as well and encourages them to play. Hopefully in the future girls are just as passionate about it as I am.”

Bulmer has lofty goals for her hockey career and this is just another step in the right direction.

“This is going to be so helpful to get my name out there,” said Bulmer. “It creates an opportunity for me and more opportunities in the future. Hopefully, it is Team Canada one day.”

Natalie Spooner, who played for the national team from 2007-2008 and rejoined in 2010 is also one of the mentors for the program.

Spooner said it is important to continue to develop young girls in the sport.

“It is so important to develop grassroots girls around 14-15,” said Spooner. “They need to know that if they have dreams for Team Canada or the pros that they can do that. We are here to help them and give them the tools to succeed.”

Although not Bulmer’s mentor, Spooner said all the girls in the program have been excellent.

“All the girls are leaders in their own way,” said Spooner. “We are giving them the tools to contribute to their team and the community. We are showing them what that path looks like. They have been asking great questions. You can tell how passionate they are.”

Wanting to reach the top level of the sport, Spooner said comes with its challenges for young women.

“In women’s hockey you have to figure out where you want to be seen,” said Spooner. “They need to be looking at where to try out for their provincial/territorial teams.

“Also, in women’s hockey, you can’t say I want to be a pro – it can’t be a job yet. So they have the added stress of trying to make it to the highest level while also figuring out what they want to do.”

By being accepted to Rising Teammates all 21 athletes receive:

• Four-week mentorship program with a PWHPA player;

• Four individual mentorship sessions;

• Four group sessions that will include special guest appearances;

• Resource handbook;

• Individual participant package; and

• $1,000 donation to the mentee’s hockey team.

Be the first to comment

Add your comments or reply via Twitter @whitehorsestar

In order to encourage thoughtful and responsible discussion, website comments will not be visible until a moderator approves them. Please add comments judiciously and refrain from maligning any individual or institution. Read about our user comment and privacy policies.

Your name and email address are required before your comment is posted. Otherwise, your comment will not be posted.