Tell us about yourself!
My name is Taylor Wilburn and I am from Apex, NC. I am currently in the 5th grade. I have two older brothers who have both played hockey so naturally I followed in their footsteps, but not without some resistance. At first, I didn’t want to play hockey, I thought it was a boy’s sport and that it was dangerous. I loved playing soccer and that’s what I wanted to focus on.
When I had breaks from school, my brothers and I would have to go to a camp while our parents were working. They sent us to a camp at an ice rink so that my brothers could get more practice at skating in. Since I was there, I learned how to skate. After a few weeks at camp, I finally asked my parents if I could have some gear so I could go out and try stick n’ puck. After my first hour, I was hooked and soccer was history!
I started out by participating in the Carolina Hurricanes’ First Goal program in the summer of 2016. From there I made a house select mites team where I was the only girl on the team. While playing for the boys’ team, I was asked to play for a girls’ mites team (The Winston-Salem Ice Hawks) for a tournament in Maryland. The program consisted of girls who had just started out just like me. I loved playing with an all-girls team and was happy when the Jr Hurricanes announced that they were going to put together the first all-girls U10 team.
My second season I played on the girls U10 Jr Hurricanes team. We won a tournament that had all boys’ teams and a week later we traveled to Maryland for an all-girls tournament and won our division. It was an exciting first year for the program! My last season I played on a co-ed Jr Hurricanes A team and the Girls Jr Hurricanes team.
What made you want to be a WHL Brand Ambassador?
Girls’ hockey is growing in the South and I want to help girls everywhere (especially down here) realize the opportunities that wait for them if they play hockey. Our girls’ teams have a wide range of talent, from first starting to those that have been skating since they were three. The program doesn’t cut a girl because she is just learning to play. Our team welcomes all girls of all levels and after a season, we have one heck of a group of hockey players! Our first rule is to always have fun and we always follow that rule!
What are you most looking forward to as a #WHLAMBASSADOR?
My hope is that being a WHL Ambassador will help spotlight girls’ hockey in the South.
What’s something not a lot of people know about you?
We have a pull-up bar in our garage and I love to do a few whenever I can. Even when my parents are trying to get me in the car to go hockey practice, I will try to sneak in a few pull-ups! I also love to run. One day I hope to break the local middle school track record for the 1600m!
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 my choice would be Amanda Kessel. I would like to ask her what it was like growing up with two older brothers who play hockey and how much they influenced her career.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given in hockey or in life?
To always keep moving your feet!
What’s your dream for women’s hockey?
My dream for women’s hockey is that one day we can play along with the boys in professional hockey! I dream of one day hoisting the Cup just like every boy that plays hockey does too!
Want to be a #WHLAmbassador?