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AMBASSADOR SPOTLIGHT: Sami Huyge | West Michigan

Sami Huyge

Meet Sami Huyge!

Tell us about yourself!

My name is Sami. I am 30 years old and am from West Michigan. When I was growing up, I was surrounded by hockey. My cousin and younger brother both played, while I became an avid fan with dreams of becoming a figure skater. My parents told me I was too accident prone (they weren’t wrong. I was REALLY clumsy!) to play the sport. So I turned my attention to volleyball. I worked my tail off and played through high school and my sophomore year of college until I blew out my shoulder. After surgery and extensive physical therapy, I decided I had had enough of volleyball, and wanted to switch it up! So I bought all the gear and finally started playing hockey!

Since I’ve been playing for roughly seven years now, I have gone from learning, to going to clinics to improve my skills, to being the captain of my women’s team, to playing in a men’s league and now coaching young girls! My husband has been my rock and support throughout this entire journey. I wouldn’t be anywhere without my number one fan!

WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO BE A WHL BRAND AMBASSADOR?

I am passionate about hockey, but even more so about growing the sport for women. Because it is such a male dominated space, it is incredibly empowering to step onto the ice as a woman. Life is already hard enough—so I want to do my part in helping empower women everywhere through hockey!

WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO AS A #WHLAMBASSADOR?

As a WHL Brand Ambassador, I am so pumped to be a part of such an already strong community of women that share such an awesome passion.

WHAT’S SOMETHING NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT YOU?

Being from Michigan, I have a higher than normal tolerance for cold. No matter what time of year or what I’m doing—I crave and will eat ice cream. I could be in the middle of a blizzard with frostbitten fingers, and I will dive face first into a tub of pistachio ice cream!

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 any female hockey player, I wouldn’t be able to choose. I have had so many teammates and coaches turn mentors or friends, that I would rather have a dinner with all of them at once. I love my hockey ladies!

WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN IN HOCKEY OR IN LIFE?

Best hockey advice: Never be afraid of playing a physical game. Don’t stop moving your feet until your body makes contact with your opponent’s body. Play the body first, puck second.

Best life advice: Never take yourself too seriously. Always find time to joke, laugh and find a lesson in every situation.

WHAT’S YOUR DREAM FOR WOMEN’S HOCKEY?

Hockey is the community I had been craving throughout my athletic career that I didn’t even realize I needed. Ultimately, my dream for women’s hockey is to help strengthen this idea of community, to foster growth and expansion within West Michigan, and to eventually move toward a national platform. People don’t realize how different women’s hockey is from the rest of the hockey world. Team bonding, encouragement and relationships come first. Skills come second—this is especially true in novice or beginner leagues. I would love to see more sponsored clinics and events to introduce and expose more women to the game.

 


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