When Carolyne Prevost was taking shots with the boys as a youngster climbing the ranks in Sarnia Minor Hockey, she never imagined there’d be a career in it for her.
“It wasn’t in my dreams growing up, because I didn’t see it; it wasn’t visible to me,” said the 30-year-old multi-sport athlete and full-time teacher, now based in Toronto.
“There was no real professional league for girls to dream about.”
That’s all changed thanks to the rising popularity in women’s hockey — and the work underway by the newly formed Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA) — which has brought some of the world’s best female players together, including Prevost, to form a new league and change the face of women’s hockey.
“We are just trying to pave the way to create the league that girls can finally dream about — playing professional sports — the same dreams that boys have growing up,” said the Saint-François-Xavier High School grad, who teaches at Oakville’s Gaetan-Gervais High School.
Last week, Prevost was among 25 women officially named to Team Sonnet — the PWHPA’s Toronto region squad — alongside with names like Sarah Nurse and Natalie Spooner.
Team Sonnet will compete against the league’s four other teams —Calgary, Montreal, New Hampshire and Minnesota — as part of the ‘Dream Gap Tour’ showcase.
“It’s very much the top players in the world among those five teams,” said Prevost. “The goal obviously is to expand and have more teams in future years as the league builds.”
Prevost played with the Toronto Furies of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, which folded in 2018, before joining some 200 female athletes to form the PWHPA last year.
“Our goal is … a professional league with a livable wage and access to resources like good facilities, trainers and coaches.”
Prevost and her teammates practice twice a week, late at night — after their day jobs — and are aiming for a 2021 season start.
She also trains two-to-three times a day — before and after school, and sometimes during her prep and lunch periods.
On top of hockey, she’s got her sights set on defending her crossfit title after finishing first among Canadians at the CrossFit Games in Wisconsin last year and #13 overall in the world.
Before that she had won 11 national championships in four other sports: hockey, taekwondo, soccer, and ball hockey.
“I live a pretty busy life,” said Prevost. “As I’m getting older, every year I’m like, ‘will I try out again?’ But I still love it. I love playing. “We need more visibility for female sports in general, so I’m excited to help contribute to the team and help any way I can to help build this league for women.”