Meet Jen Neely!
Tell us about yourself!
My name is Jen. I grew up in Markham, Ontario where there weren’t a whole lot of opportunities for girls to play hockey in Markham when I was little. I always had a love for the game as I came from a hockey family. My father played in the NHL in the 70s and my brother played in the OHL. Now, I continue my passion on the bench and as the trainer for my nine-year-old niece’s hockey team, as well as being a youth sports conditioning coach.
WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO BE A WHL BRAND AMBASSADOR?
I wanted to be an ambassador because of the support WHL has for girls’ and women’s hockey all over the world. I want to be more involved in the representation of the brand, as well as continual growth of the sport for females.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO AS A #WHLAMBASSADOR?
I am most looking forward to getting to know and work with other women with a passion for the sport, as well as support the growth of women’s hockey, not only in my town but worldwide.
WHAT’S SOMETHING NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT YOU?
I grew up playing many sports (baseball, basketball and volleyball to name a few) but spent most of my time at the rink with my dad and brother and now it has continued on with the next generation of Neely’s with my niece and nephew.
IF YOU COULD SIT DOWN AND HAVE DINNER WITH ONE FEMALE HOCKEY PLAYER, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
Caroline Ouellette. I would love to talk to her about her hockey career and being part of the next generation of female players by coaching, as well as the work she does for young girls and hockey with the Caroline Ouellette Girls Hockey Celebration.
WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN IN HOCKEY OR IN LIFE?
The best advice I was given was from my dad, it was a quote from Vince Lombardi: “The man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there.”
My parents always instilled in us that anything can be accomplished with hard work and determination.
WHAT’S YOUR DREAM FOR WOMEN’S HOCKEY?
After Taylor, my nine-year-old niece, and I were driving in the car and heard that the CWHL was folding on the radio, her reaction was “Where do I get to play when I am older?” It really made me stop and think about the direction of women’s hockey and the dreams of little girls like her who have such a love for the sport. I would love to see where young girls can dream of a career with a sport they love and women have an opportunity to live out that dream.
Interested in becoming a #WHLAmbassador?