GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - It may be one of the fastest growing trends in sports, girls are turning in their figure skates for hockey skates.
"It's not that I'm treated differently because I'm a girl," says Griffins Youth Foundation player/coach Tori Faddema, "but because I am a girl it's cool to be able to compete with the boys."
"This is not considered a girly sport," says Griffins Youth Foundation executive director Lynn Rabaut, "it's not one that girls turn to so that was a very intended focus for the organization from the get go."
The Griffins Youth Foundation is a major factor in the growth of girls hockey in Grand Rapids. They have seen their female numbers more than double in the past 10 years. Players like Tori have grown with the Griffins over those ten years.
"I like that you have to put hard work in it, you can't be scared," says Tori.
Also pushing the sport, are the opportunities at the next level.
"Throughout my high school career I kept researching," says Tori, "and more and more colleges are adding teams so it's definitely getting bigger and bigger."
This past month we have seen the US women's national team fight for the right in equal pay in the sport. They are no longer a novelty but a viable option for the fastest game on two feet.
"If the girls continue to work hard and are good players they are going to get spots out there in the universities," says coach Wendy Foy, "they're going to continue to fight for equality."
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