Tell us about yourself!
My name is Amanda Provan. I am 25 years old and I live in Canada in a city in northern Ontario called Sudbury. I have been playing organized hockey for about 12 years now. I grew up playing street hockey, playing on backyard rinks with friends and of course playing mini sticks. I didn’t start playing organized hockey as young as a lot of people but when I finally got the chance to put my gear on for the first time I was hooked.
My hockey story is a little different than most as I was born with congenital motor nystagmus leaving me with only about five percent vision. As you can imagine this makes playing hockey tougher but I was determined to make it work. I was never the fastest or most skilled player but I found ways to do my part. I started my hockey career playing coed playground hockey. Later on, I played high school hockey and in our local girls’ league. I always dreamed of playing for Team Canada but knew this was not a realistic goal for me.
About two years ago, I came across blind hockey. This was a game changer! Blind hockey has opened up so many doors for me. Because of it I have been able to come to terms with my disability. Blind hockey also introduced me to the world of adaptive sports. Now, I spend my time trying as many blind sports as I can find. Some of the other sports I play to pass the time are goalball, para-rowing and beep baseball. I also still play sighted hockey in a women’s league. I am now focusing my energy on trying to make the Canadian national blind hockey team, with the dream of one day playing blind hockey in the Paralympics.
What made you want to be a WHL Brand Ambassador?
My love and passion for hockey were the driving force behind wanting to become a WHL brand ambassador. I love hockey more than almost anything else in life. I eat, sleep and breathe hockey and becoming a part of a group that is all about women’s hockey seemed like the right fit for me. I also wanted to use the opportunity to spread the word about blind hockey on a larger stage. There may very well be other girls and women out there, like me, who are blind or partially sighted and love hockey. If I can spread the word and blind hockey comes to their attention, it could help change lives.
What are you most looking forward to as a #WHLAMBASSADOR?
Some of the things I am most looking forward to as a #WHLAMBASSADOR are being a part of awesome community that is Women’s Hockey Life. I am also looking forward to sharing my input and giving and receiving feedback on all things hockey. I can’t wait to share my perspective and to hear the perspectives of other people with common goals and interests. Mostly, I look forward to being able to promote women’s hockey in general.
What’s something not a lot of people know about you?
Something that not many people know about me is that I am a huge nerd. I love to read fiction and super hero movies are my absolute favourite.
Another thing not many people know about me is that I am very superstitious when it comes to hockey. My routine is very important to me—I do all sorts of little things for good luck. Everything from packing my bag a certain way, to matching the right socks with the right Under Armour shirt, to the order in which my equipment goes on, when to tape my stick… All these little things are important to me and my game.
If you could sit down and have dinner with one female hockey player, who would it be and why?
If I could sit down and have dinner with one female hockey player I think it would be Cassie Campbell because she was one of the first female hockey players I had ever heard of. She has done a lot for women’s hockey and is now paving the way for female broadcasters. This year I heard her doing commentary in an NHL playoff game, which is beyond cool. I would love to sit down and discuss her career as a player and broadcaster/commentator.
In a close second would be Shannon Szabados. She seems so cool and down to earth and it would incredible to hear about her experience in professional men’s hockey.
Hayley Wickenheiser would be another great dinner date. I would love to hear about her hockey career, and how she was the first women to play professional ice hockey in a position other than goalie. There are so many great female hockey players out there that I would love to sit down and have dinner with. Can’t I just have dinner with all of them?
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given in hockey or in life?
I have been given a lot of hockey advice over the years. Some of the things that have stuck with me the most are practice how you play. I believe everything you do in practice shows in your game, so if you do things half heartedly in practice it will show come game time.
Leaving it all on the ice is another important piece of advice I like to live by. At the end of the game I want to have nothing left in the tank. I want to know that I have done everything in my power out there to help the team as best as I can.
When it comes to life advice, I am a firm believer in the saying “nothing is impossible”. Where there’s a will, there is a way and if you put your mind to it nothing is impossible. Sometimes things need to be adapted to level the playing field but it can be done.
What’s your dream for women’s hockey?
My dream for women’s hockey is that one day there is a women’s league that is the equivalent to the NHL. I want it to be equal on all levels. They will have their own version of the Stanley Cup. I dream of a time when females get as much respect as athletes as the men do. I want the players to be able to make a living as professional hockey players, where they do not have to have a job on the side to support themselves financially. And I dream of fans to fill the stands at all the games. Women’s hockey is just as important as men’s! Gender equality is very important to me in every aspect of life.
Aside from my dreams previously mentioned, I also have some personal dreams for the world of blind hockey and the women that play. I dream of blind hockey having teams across the globe and in these dreams female hockey players are a huge part of the sport. I dream of seeing at least one female player on every national blind hockey team. This dream also extends to all other forms of adaptive hockey, like sledge hockey.
Want to be a #WHLAmbassador?