Anyone who is a fan of hockey knows the name Blake Bolden; she was the first African-American player in the NWHL and her defensive plays combined with her solid shots from the defensive line, make her lethal on the ice. Bolden seems as though she is just getting started in making a difference in the world of hockey by adding to her accolades and becoming a NHL scout for the L.A. Kings.
As a scout for the NHL, Bolden is among a small number of females in the profession, “It’s very cool. I get to use my knowledge of the game to watch the best young male hockey players in the world. I never knew being a scout for an NHL franchise was possible because you never saw women doing it. Just goes to show that there’s no limit to what and where you can be in the workplace.”
By breaking down barriers, Bolden is making it clear why she was hired by the L.A. Kings; with her combined experience as a player, a coach and mentor herself within her business, Blake Bolden Athletics, she is certainly a viable applicant to help bring new talent to the Kings.
No need to worry though, Bolden explained that she will still be able to play while in her new position, “What’s really commendable about the Kings is that they encourage me to continue to play and inspire the younger generation.”
If it’s not enough to know that Bolden is now a scout, she was recently invited to “Off-Ice” with host Wyclef Jean. This episode also included Blake Coleman, Connor Carrick and Bryce Salvador as the players discussed diversity and how the sport of hockey can be inclusive on all levels.
Bolden stated, “I think it’s important to continue to share stories and perspectives. Knowledge is power and we only want to grow in our sport. In short, it meant a lot, and it was extremely fun.”
The work that she is doing right now for the sport is extremely important for young athletes of the future and it will have a big impact on the rising stars we see who will be in the next generation of hockey. Especially for young women who unfortunately are still facing adversity within the sport.
Bolden certainly knows about facing those who might have been against her and she recently spoke with Hockey Hall of Famer Willie O’Ree, who is the first African American to play in the NHL. During this conversation, they shared their experiences as hockey players, being amongst the few black players on their respective teams and how they fell in love with the game.
I wasn’t a little girl when I went to my 1st Pride game made a straight dash past several Olympians to take a picture w/ @SportBlake. Over the years, she’s encouraged me to step outside of my comfort zone in hockey & in life. Representation matters! ❤️✊🏽pic.twitter.com/RfrENkmwTF
— Erica L. Ayala (@elindsay08) February 4, 2020
“Willie and I have become such great friends over the years. He’s such a lively man for 84 years old and of course a legend. I love hearing his story being told, it never gets old because it’s so inspirational. He’s paved a way for so many just by being himself. I really love every moment I get to spend with him.”
Blake Bolden is a huge inspiration to all young females who are looking to go far in hockey and life. By continuing to contribute to the growth and future of hockey, she is the definition of a trail-blazer who forges her own path to empower young women to go after their dreams at all costs.
She leaves young female athletes with this: “I would tell young female athletes and anyone to never let fear get in the way. If you push yourself out of your comfort zone, only good things will happen. Whether you learn for the better or succeed, there is no such thing as failure, so don’t be afraid of it.”