While the Stanley Cup finals just ended (yes, they play hockey in June), the game is never far from mind in Canada. Games, clinics, and off-ice training are all part of spring and summer hockey for thousands across the country. But the warm months are also a time when several leagues recognize and celebrate the successes of players both on and off the ice.
One player being recognized for her outstanding commitment to hockey, community, and education is 17-year-old Erin Parsons, who was awarded the second annual Ian Shaw Memorial Scholarship by the Toronto Leaside Girls Hockey Association (TLGHA).
The scholarship is named in memory of Ian Shaw, who in his 25+ years volunteering with the TLGHA served as head coach, assistant coach, trainer, and manager for several teams, as well as tournament director and referee-in-chief.
TLGHA board members Erin Loft and Beth Brotherstone, along with Ian Shaw’s daughter, Jenny, reviewed all scholarship applications and chose Parsons to be the recipient based on her impressive achievements.
Jenny Shaw remembers her father speaking very highly about Parsons’ growth as an official and noted what a pleasure it has been to see her dedication continue.
Parsons, who attended Northern Secondary School, played nine years with the Wildcats, and worked as a timekeeper and referee with the organization for five years. She also was a referee with the Withrow Park Ball Hockey League.
Off the ice, Parsons has lent her talents and time as a volunteer at a Learning Code Camp for girls, co-leader for Northern SmartRisk, which runs activities related to school safety, an English assistant at a Korean Sunday School, and as a timer at a Northern Secondary School debate tournament. Over the summer she will continue to work with children at a coding camp.
Parsons will be attending McGill University in the fall to pursue a degree in arts and science and is hoping to find an intramural league in which she can play.
With her parents Jeff and Miah beaming at her side, Erin reminisced about having played in arenas across the city and the lifelong memories she will have. “It’s the end of a great chapter,” Parsons noted. “It’s been a wonderful nine years and I’ll miss the Wildcats.”
The TLGHA has a long history in the development of young women not only as successful hockey players but, with the guidance of mentors such as Ian Shaw, as confident on-ice officials, and valuable, contributing members of society. Erin Parsons is a worthy recipient of a scholarship celebrating the well-rounded young woman she has become.