Tell us about yourself!
I am Lily Miller and I live in Missoula, Montana where I play Bantam A hockey. My typical day here in Montana, (depending on the season) consists of school, hockey, lacrosse, skiing, hanging out in the outdoors and running Lily’s Lovebirds and I-Play – two organizations I founded to support girls in education and sports.
Having a Canadian mother meant that I was up and skating by two years old and that hockey was a “no-brainer” for my sister and myself. However, I did not think that my parents thought I could love it as much as I do. When I started hockey, the girls program was just getting on its feet and it was mostly for older girls so I played with the boys starting at four years old. I just finished playing my first checking year in Bantam A with the boys – it was my most favorite year yet. Through the years I learned to love hockey, not just as something to fill my free time with but as a passion. I drive myself to get better every practice and game. One day, years ago, my mom kept us home from school to watch the Canada vs USA women’s Olympic final in Sochi. It was AMAZING and it clicked – I wanted to play hockey like those girls.
It is my goal to combine my love of hockey with my passion for service. Lily’s Lovebirds is an organization I stated in 4th grade after I read I am Malala. I was devastated that girls could not go to school and get the opportunities that I had so I started making and selling stuffed birds out of recycled fabric scraps and sending the proceeds to girls in Nepal and around the world to help them go to school. My project has grown and even the boys from my hockey team have helped me.
More recently, I started the “I-play” project because by the age 14 girls drop out of sports two times the rate of boys. I created I-play to change this by encouraging, mentoring and giving girls the opportunity to play sports and find something they love. Sports allow me to be active, meet new people and offers life changing experiences. My passion for sports continues to grow with each year and I hope I-play inspires other girls to find a passion and love for sports too.
What made you want to be a WHL Brand Ambassador?
I want to promote hockey and encourage other girls to see how amazing hockey is and have to chance to experience and love the game like I do.
What are you most looking forward to as a #WHLAMBASSADOR?
This year my little sister travelled 1000 miles round trip to play just two hockey games against a team in her division. This was not a special tournament, but a regular season occurrence and what grass roots hockey looks like in rural America. I most look forward being an ambassador for grass roots hockey and to promoting girls’ & women’s hockey in small towns and rural communities like the one I am from.
What’s something not a lot of people know about you?
I have a crazy cool bunny named Kuznetsov named after Evgeny Kuznetsov, the center on the Washington Capitals.
My friends tell me I squeak at random times throughout the day.
If you could sit down and have dinner with one female hockey player, who would it be and why?
Hayley Wickenheiser without a doubt. Hayley Wickenheiser is my all time favorite hockey player. I have admired her for as long as I can remember and my dream of meeting her came true when my girls’ state hockey team went to Wickfest in Calgary last fall. I got to talk with her about the I-Play project and I would love to sit down and have a burger with her and chat about empowering girl’s in sports.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given in hockey or in life?
With hard work and focus you have the power to change your journey on and off the ice.
This quote is on my wall – “Life is a story, if you wouldn’t read the one you are telling then write a new ending”.
What’s your dream for women’s hockey?
Simple – my dream for women’s hockey is that there are more opportunities for girls to play, young and old, newbies or professional – just let us play.
Interested in becoming a #WHLAMBASSADOR?