Recipient of the Town of Aurora Volunteer Service Award for 25 years of volunteering with the CYGHA.
Katie has been a volunteer with Central York Girl’s Hockey Association for 25 years.
Katie began volunteering as a Convenor for her daughter’s age group when the Central York Girls Hockey Association (CYGHA) was known as Aurora Girls Hockey. A few years later, she became an Executive Board member of the CYGHA. Her position was Vice President of Senior Women’s Hockey, a position she continues to hold today. When Katie began as VP, the Senior Women’s division consisted of only four teams. She developed this program and opportunity for women, many of whom had never played hockey previously. Today the division consists of height of sixteen teams in two divisions!
Along with the winter league. Katie also began a Summer Women’s Hockey program, and an additional 3on3 program during the winter months. There are also various clinics set up for the women to improve their skills.
In her time with the CYGHA, Katie spearheaded the annual Panther Pride House League tournament, which is currently in its 14th year. She has been the director of this tournament since its inception. The tournament gives local girls and women, registered with the association, a chance to play in a tournament in their home area, free of charge. The tournament has grown to host over 70 teams, not only from the CYGHA but from other female hockey associations across Ontario.
In 2015, during the Panther Pride Tournament, Katie incorporated a sledge hockey match between the Ontario and Quebec Women’s Sledge Hockey teams, helping people to be more aware of this area of hockey.
In 2017, Katie co directed the first ever Canadian National Women’s Sledge Hockey Championship. This resulted in Canada being the first country in the world to host a national championship for women’s sledge hockey. With this in mind, the Canadian Women’s Sledge Hockey Association voted the CYGHA, Organization of the Year.
In 2018 Katie was instrumental in promoting the CYGHA for its 25th anniversary celebration. This entailed organizing special events throughout the year, involving all age groups. Players from the Canadian Women’s Olympic hockey team were invited to play an exhibition game in Aurora. That same season, Katie worked with the Town of Aurora to help coordinate the CYGHA’s part in Rogers Hometown Hockey and the celebration of Rob Thomas – NHL Stanley Cup winner.
Katie also attends every street fair and public gathering manning a CYGHA booth to publicize and encourage new players to join. She coordinates the NHL/NHLPA First Shift program for newcomers to hockey.
Apart from Hockey, Katie is a strong voice for Women in Sports. She has been on the board of Sport Aurora, and is currently serving on the Town of Aurora’s Sport Equity and Inclusion Committee.
Katie’s goal has always been to encourage girls and women in the sport and to create opportunities for the camaraderie and friendship. Her vision is that girls and women of all ages and skill levels can feel comfortable, welcomed and supported, and creating a sense of pride and enjoyment.
Keeping the women’s house league running smoothly in and of itself requires countless hours of time and effort. Highlighting the organization and continually thinking of new ways to engage girls and women in the sport, are all part of why we would like to recognize Katie Williams for this award.
Thank you Katie for all you do!!!