As long as he can remember, Elizabeth Mentha has a passion for hockey.
Over the past 10 years, his love for Quebeckers’ favorite sport has changed somewhat. Do not think that it is less strong, on the contrary. His association with discipline has changed considerably, as he nurtures a genuine passion for the referee’s profession.
Detroit Red Wings’ older sister Anthony Mantha is rapidly climbing the ranks of the profession, having her credit participation in the Women’s Under-18 World Championships and the Four Countries Cup.
30-year-old men also play in hockey. She is also the second woman to be ranked in the Quebec Midgate AAA Hockey League and she also serves in the Quebec Junior AAA Hockey League.
“I say that very politely, but in Quebec, I am able to make my own place in the midst of people. I am able to demonstrate to the supervisors and show that I have my place there,” she said without embarrassment. When asked about the fact that she works in a male environment.
Thank you isabel lecler
Before breaking the glass ceiling, Mantha was the first and a hockey player. During the 2012–2013 season, the University of Montreal (UdeM) played exclusively in defense with the Carabins contributing to the victory of the varsity championship.
However, the athlete had begun his journey to the referee. Prior to jumping into UdeM, she was studying in Ottawa, where she was working as a referee in the institution’s recreational league.
“When I came back to Montreal the following year, I signed up for referee courses and my adventure really began. I started at the base, that is to say at the atomic and novice levels. This is where almost all The referees begin. “
In his progress as an official, Mantha could have been hampered by his obligations as a player.
“I was fortunate to see Isabel Lecler as a coach at the University of Montreal. She was very understanding. She understands women’s hockey issues; there are not a lot of opportunities as a player. She really made me think all of them. Allowed to benefit from experiences that were available to me. It allowed me to miss some of the team’s activities to participate in referee selection camps. It’s not really all coaches who would have done that. “
“It has allowed me to create a faster path after the end of my university career, because I had the opportunity to develop at the same time as an officer,” she added with gratitude.
However, this does not mean that LeClair let him forget his responsibilities as a hockey player.
“I think Isabel called me for a meeting in her office because when I was sitting on the bench, I looked at the referee very carefully rather than focusing on the game,” Mantha said with a laugh.
At the end of his university career in 2015, Longueilo swapped his wand and shoulder pads for a decidedly striped sweater.
Since then, she has been considered one of the best in her profession, but can she possibly hope to live life with her passion?
“It is in my best dreams, but I don’t know if it will ever happen to me.” Even for a male referee, it is very difficult. There is not much openness. Even in the American Hockey League, the referee must have a second job at the same time.
To make a living by being a referee, you have to reach the highest points: the National Hockey League (LNH). To date, no women have formally participated in the clash of the world’s best hockey league
“It is also a dream, but is it achievable? I do not know. For two or three years, the NHL has more openness. He invited the female referee to his male referee camp. “
Mantha has attended one of his camps in recent years.
“We were four girls out of about fifty men. NHL officials were watching us from the stand and taking notes. Basically we have to go through the ice test, ”she said.
“It allowed me to compare myself to the standards expected in the NHL. […] It gave me a taste to go the extra mile. “
Mantha has continued to tour the NHL for the past one year.
“In December, the NHL implemented a zoom session with officials who work for it. They explain some things to us or help us with some complex situations that we have already experienced. This is one way to gain experience, despite the fact that we can’t be on ice right now. “
Given that she is under the radar of the Bateman circuit and she knows what it takes to grow there, does Mantasha think she will be part of it in one day?
“Yes, I believe. We have our place there. I don’t think there’s much missing, “he confidently replied.
The final appearance of a female referee in the NHL, however, is not an individual goal for Mantha, who just wants it to happen.
“Whether it’s me or the next generations, I would love to see it with my own eyes and help make it happen.”
Meanwhile, the former full-back has another specific and short-term goal: the Beijing Olympic Winter Games in 2022.
“I train several times a week keeping this goal in mind. It is not very long and I really believe in it. “
Mantha is on track to achieve her goal, which will automatically take place at the 2021 World Women’s Hockey Championship in May in Nova Scotia.
Calling for help from my brother?
Taking advantage of the generosity and vast experience that Manta has, it is not impossible to tell what is happening in the world of women’s hockey right now.
In the spring of 2019, the world’s best women hockey players decided to stop playing and demand better conditions. A sports association has been formed and its demands are clear: to allow its athletes to be paid sufficiently remuneration for the practice of their sport.
“I hope to have a stable National Women’s League that will be able to pay its players year-round. They just don’t want to work other than to be able to focus on their sport and to be trained. I think That it’s crazy to do a full-time or part-time job other than hockey. I’m not into the mystery of the gods, but the NHL needs to put its shoulder on the wheel. “
Even though Mantha is not up for discussion between Bateman Tour and the players, he is closer to the NHL than humans. His younger brother has been skating since the 2015-2016 season.
“We talked about it when the women’s league was disbanded and we knew how much money would have to be raised to make a league viable. I jokingly told him that he could finance it, ”she joked.
“He was laughing a little bit, but I think that probably stuck in his head. He’s the only boy with four kids with us. He’s seen us play in university games and men and women are equal for him. Everyone is a He deserves a chance. I am sure he will adopt such a project. “
Invitation Anthony is out!
Like many players in women’s hockey, Mantha is confident that with visibility, a women’s league will be viable and the base of the game’s supporters will grow. She also believes that the time we live in makes things easier.
“When I was younger, I remember hearing the names of Daniele Souvagu and other great players like him. But, I did not see them. “
“I think today’s players are much more accessible, whether it’s through social media or television. I think it makes a big change in the dreams of young girls. They have models in mind.”
Who knows? Maybe one day a young girl will see Elizabeth Mentha as a Montreal Canadiens referee and tell herself that she too can aspire to the highest levels.
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