A pioneer in every sense of the word, there is no one who has done more for the growth and success of women’s hockey than Fran Rider
Wendy Graves | June 19, 2017 | Favourite (1)
Fran Rider is the first female builder to receive the Order of Hockey in Canada.
Two years ago she was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame, the first to gain membership specifically for contributions to building women’s hockey.
Rider was the first recipient of Hockey Canada’s Female Breakthrough Award, in 1998, and the first female recipient of the Hockey Canada Order of Merit, in 1994.
To those in the know, none of these honours are surprising. After all, when it comes to significant contributions to growing, developing and celebrating the women’s game, the first name that comes to mind is Fran Rider.
For Rider, everything – creating the first unofficial women’s world championship; helping form the first IIHF World Women’s Championship; actively pushing for the game’s inclusion in the Olympic Winter Games; chairing six international and two national championship committees; creating the Long Game as part of World Girls’ Hockey Weekend – stemmed from one simple wish: to be involved in the game she’s loved all her life.
“We had a rink in our backyard,” says Rider. “And when I grew up, I was always at the cottage in the summer and played every sport you could play, but my first love was hockey. The lake froze in the winter, so we’d build a rink on the ice.”