Women’s Hockey Is Alive And Well In Wyoming
Titia Leisz, Wyoming Amateur Hockey Association Director of Player Development for girls, is making sure that women's hockey is still growing strong in Casper, Wyo.
Titia is a California native but has traveled all over the country. When she and her husband Mike moved to Spokane, Washington, that's when her love for the Spokane Chiefs (minor league hockey team) started. Right before moving to Casper, Wy in 1993, Titia and her husband moved to Idaho Falls, ID where she began playing women's hockey. After getting all three of her children involved with hockey, she began coaching in 2000.
Last March, Miss Leisz attended the Northern Plains District girls high school hockey tournament in Watford City, North Dakota. She met two men, one by the name of Dick Emahiser, who was a high-performance coach in Minnesota and the other was Bob Gillen, the Northen Plains District girls Director. She talked to them about bringing a Wyoming Girls Hockey Day to Casper. On September 15th, 50 girls showed up from the age of 10 to 19 and 19 coaches from all over the state to participate in the first ever Girls Hockey Day.
As the players were learning, Dick and Bob educated the coaches on skills, practice planning, player/coach expectations, being a good role model, and other topics related to coaching. All the coaches were given handbooks and handouts.
The event was free thanks to the USA Hockey's Northern Plains District and Wyoming Amateur Hockey.
“In the five years that I’ve been involved, we’re starting to see a lot more female coaches within the four states I oversee,” Gillen told USA Hockey. “We’re starting to see more female referees and female administrators. Hopefully, these girls will have a great experience. We want them to go as far as they can if they have an aspiration to keep playing hockey. Hopefully, they will come back and stay in the district or stay in the individual state where they’re from and get involved in their local community.”