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Sarah Butterworth Memorial Trophy Represents Summit for Silvia Traversa

Silvia Traversa Team Canada

One of the greatest competitors to have graced the ball hockey hardcourts in this decade, Silvia Traversa’s influence and wondrous work ethic have been felt in multiple facets of Canadian competition. Among a rare group of world-class talents that have experienced the prestige of wearing the Maple Leaf in both ISBHF World Championship and Masters Tournaments, boasting double gold, the 2018 edition of the CBHA Nationals has provided Traversa with a sparkling addition to her legacy.

From the outset, the BC Selects Team, of which Traversa and iconic goaltender Jennifer Price proudly competed for, reached the medal round, emerging with the bronze in a riveting win over the Edmonton Red Light. Along with Calgary United capturing the gold medal, the greatest legacy of the 2018 CBHA Nationals may be the germination of a new era highlighted by Western Canadian dominance in tournament play.

Adding to the achievement of the bronze medal, Traversa’s experience at the CBHA Nationals in Winnipeg also resulted in obtaining one of the greatest honors in Canadian ball hockey, affirming her status as one of the game’s most influential players. With the prestige of the Sarah Butterworth Memorial Award, presented to a female athlete whose combined qualities of dedication, leadership and sportsmanship define “team spirit” at Nationals, it added a much more profound meaning to Traversa’s imapct in the game.

Long treasured as both, a valued teammate and cherished friend, the achievement of such a revered recognition certainly heralds Traversa’s status as a legend in Canadian ball hockey. Although there was an understandable aspect of awe and surprise over the honour, showered in acclaim and applause by her teammates, Traversa’s reflections are truly testament to her humble nature, qualities that enhance her standing as a highly admired competitor.

“When I heard my name being called out it took me a second to realize it. Then I turned to my teammates in shock.  They all started cheering, giving me high fives; it was a moment I will never forget.”

Such a monumental milestone also represents a great feat for ball hockey in British Columbia. The sense of achievement for Traversa is shared with another ball hockey luminary from the province. Having played together in numerous CBHA championships with various contingents of BC’s ball hockey elite, Linda Milani captured the Butterworth Award in 2014. Having both graced the hardcourt with the Vancouver Hawks club team, serving as key cornerstones for their provincial dominance, dynasty and destiny collided when Traversa earned the prestigious honor four years later. Undeniably, the chance to hold this celebrated common ground with Milani, becoming part of a very rare sorority of BC players to have captured the Award, enhances their shared legacy.

“It is an honour to even be considered in the same category as Linda because she is a player who I respect so much. I had the opportunity to play with her on the Vancouver Hawks and she is someone who is passionate and dedicated to the game.  She has been a part of some amazing teams over her career, such as the Vikings, and I am excited to build off her success and hope to have that same opportunity in the years to come.”

With the 2018 edition of the ISBHF Masters Tournament approaching, Traversa’s highly occupied hockey calendar remains a constant reminder of her unparalleled enthusiasm. In addition, she joins a growing list of Butterworth Award recipients that have donned Canada’s colors in Masters play. Among such a group of distinguished competitors includes goaltender Nathalie Girouard, who has shared in the international double gold experience with her, attaining a very prestigious pinnacle in the sport.

Considering that Girouard gained a silver with the Ottawa Capitals at the 2018 CBHA Nationals, while Traversa’s BC Selects emerged with a victory in the bronze medal game, the jubilation of a podium finish only adds to the momentum heading into the upcoming Masters, which shall be contested in Bermuda. Worth noting, other BC-based players joining Traversa on Canada’s contingent include Jennifer Fong, Codi Lee and Shannon Sutherland.

“It is always fun going to Nationals and representing BC.  The competition is always tough so I did feel more prepared this year compared to past years.  I am also getting ready to play for Canada at the World Masters in September and this tournament helped me look at what I need to fix in my game so I can be ready to perform in Bermuda.  Winning the Bronze medal with the BC Selects and winning this award made it a Nationals I will never forget.”

Approaching the game with a grace and dignity that has transformed her into one of the game’s most admired players, the Butterworth Award is more than an affirmation of Traversa’s body of work. Considering that Butterworth was one of the first superstars on the Vancouver Sharks team, one that would welcome Traversa into their ranks, it served as the springboard for an unfolding series of great glories.

In winning one of the greatest honors in Canadian ball hockey, one that bears the name of Vancouver’s legendary competitors, it has certainly brought Traversa’s jubilant journey full circle. Although she ponders the future with a tremendous optimism, always driven by love of the game, her career encompassed the potential to attain greater glories. Exemplifying determination, commitment and character, such values served as the foundation towards the success she has deservingly gained, maintaining a gold standard in which future competitors, provincially and nationally, can aspire to emulate.

“I have played with and against so many great players over the years and had the opportunity to play on Sarah’s team, the Vancouver Sharks, alongside some of her close friends.  I never thought I would even be considered for this award.

I am always looking forward to ball hockey season being out on the floor playing the game I love, while having success with my team. I could not have achieved so much throughout my career without my teammates by my side, pushing me to get better along the way.”

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”

All images obtained from Facebook


More about Mark Staffieri

Raised in the Greater Toronto Area, Mark holds an extensive writing background. A contributor to Wikipedia since 2007, his writing endeavors have included writing for Bleacher Report (2012-13), and the former CWHL (2012-15), and the Canadian division of the Legends Football League (2013-14). Also part of the team of writers for Hockey Canada at the 2013 IIHF Women's World Championships in Ottawa, Mark contributed features on Jenny Harss, Elin Holmlov, Iya Gavrilova, Kathleen Kauth, Lucie Povova, Alex Rigsby, Julia and Stephanie Marty, and Katie Weatherston, among others. In addition to composing more than 700 articles for Women's Hockey Life (since 2012), his current slate of duties includes covering female tackle football for Canada Football Chat, along with pieces for NowVIZ Magazine (digital format) since its inaugural issue. Also the publisher of allowhertoplay, a website devoted to the heroics of sporting heroines, Mark remains focused on raising awareness of the positive impact of women in sport.