Girls win, hockey loses

JODY VANCE -- 24 Hours Toronto

, Last Updated: 8:02 AM ET

Sometimes even when you win you lose in the long run.

Equal time and equal opportunity are important, of course, but the story out of Winnipeg this weekend about the hockey playing high school twin girls who won a legal battle to try out for their school's boy's hockey squad has me perturbed.

This wouldn't be a bee in my bonnet if the determined young ladies didn't have the option of trying out for the school's girl's team ... but they do.

Apparently the pair are unimpressed with the calibre of play on the team designed for their sex. They say "some of them can barely skate."

I suggest perhaps they take that problem on rather than bypass it and leave it for others to fix.

Why don't these self-professed talented skaters help their fellow girls learn?

Surely parents and teachers could help them to see this as an opportunity to lead by sharing knowledge and honing skills.

These young ladies, who are so talented beyond their gender, need to help their gender. They can look at it as a challenge and a rush to become builders of the sport.

The sisters say they are ecstatic about their chance to battle with the boys for a roster spot, or two.

Fine, but the guys who don't make the boys' squad now don't have the right to try out for the girls' team, sending the aforementioned less-than-excellent-female skaters to the showers.

I have a headache just thinking about what this first legal domino has set in motion.

What's lost in this hockey battle of the sexes is how it affects schools sports on a larger scale. Some schools can barely afford to support hockey programs -- ice time and equipment certainly is not cheap. Add legal wrangling and the option to take to the ice at could be gone from schools for good.

Being a winner isn't always about the scoreboard.

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Jody Vance is a sportscaster with Leafs TV. Her columns appear Tuesdays and Thursdays in 24 hours.


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