My son plays ice hockey on a local house league and one of the things I like best about it, is that there are quite a few girls who play in the league.
The girls are great! They show off their girlieness by lacing their skates with pink laces, sporting powder pink hockey gloves and letting their long ponytails flow out of their helmets. But as soon as the whistle blows and the puck is dropped its GAME ON!
Girls from 7-18 play in the various house league levels and from day one they are taught its okay to mix it up with the boys. My son has been checked into the boards by a girl and has returned the favor, too. With all the padding and the proper technique, its just not a big deal to the girls or the boys.
When you watch their team play, you can see that the girls on the team play just as important of a role as the boys do. The kids don't really seem to make a distinction between the two genders – they are just kids playing a game as far as they are concerned. I credit the coaches for much of the success in creating a solid co-ed team. They have never treated the girls like anything other than hockey players.
I am grateful to the girls who strap on their pink laced skates each week and mix it up with the boys. They are teaching the boys and themselves some very important life lessons each week.