Ashley Mouzzon started Ball Hockey Boot Camp to grow and diversify the game. Whether you’re ready to take your shot and play ball hockey or start your own initiative, Ashley’s story can help you take your shot.
This is herStory.
MEET THE FOUNDER & DIRECTOR OF BALL HOCKEY BOOT CAMP, ASHLEY MOUZZON
What is your background in sports?
ASHLEY: I am fortunate enough to say that I was an athlete, coach and also a journalist in sports. As an athlete my first team sport was street hockey where we actually played outdoors in 30 below weather, it was amazing. When I aged out, it took me some time to find a sport that brought that much joy. In high school I joined track and field and my competitive level just skyrocketed because I enjoyed the aspect of it being you against the clock.
I found hockey again as an adult and I have coached two high school teams for track and field, which was awesome. Even though my body isn’t the same, I still enjoy both ice and ball hockey at the rec and competitive tournament levels.
As a journalist I have covered a variety of women’s sports that include the PHF, PWHPA, WNBA, AU Sports for basketball and volleyball, tennis and NCAA basketball. It was a lot of fun getting to interview such inspiring women and cover their sports.
Follow Ashley on Instagram here!
What is Ball Hockey Boot Camp and where did the drive to create it come from?
ASHLEY: Ball Hockey Boot Camp is a youth-focused ball hockey organization dedicated to growing the game for young girls and boys. Our main focuses are on underserved areas that do not have hockey programs, as well as black and brown communities. Essentially, we want to help diversify the game to include more women and more players of color.
The drive for BHBC came from the fact that I see a lot of major organizations putting on little camps or programs for kids to try hockey but I never see a lot of diversity or gender equality. It made me wonder if these events were even trying to reach out to black and brown communities or girls programs to help increase their involvement in the sport. So I decided I wanted to dedicate my time to build a brand that focuses on getting into areas that may not know too much about hockey, especially black and brown communities.
Also, I simply want to help grow the game of ball hockey in any way that I can. I even decided to create my own women’s ball hockey tournament in Nashville. Again, there are a lot of tournaments that occur for ball hockey but mostly are in the north east area and I wanted to bring ball hockey down South and offer a new and fun location for a tournament.
How can people get involved with Ball Hockey Boot Camp?
What’s been the hardest and most rewarding parts of this journey?
ASHLEY: The hardest part has been getting out into the community and getting people on board with what we are trying to do. Our first event, Take a Shot at Ball Hockey, is September 18th, at a local community gym and it was hard going trying to advertise at first. We were constantly being told we couldn’t advertise in certain places and that was a little frustrating as this is a youth event for the community that’s free of charge. Also, trying to collaborate with other organizations that are in certain areas has been a little tough but we are doing what we can.
The most rewarding part so far has been planning the event and knowing that we are going to hopefully get a few kids interested in the sport of hockey. We are pretty new as an organization but we are enjoying every part of this ride so far.
What advice do you have for women who want to get involved in ball hockey but they’ve never played before?
ASHLEY: Just start! I know it can seem scary or foreign to pick up a stick and get out there but if you find a good group of people willing to allow you to learn and help you along the way, I promise you won’t regret it!
If you are looking to get started and are unsure of where to go, hit us up! We can help! With our ball hockey tournament in February 2023, we are hosting a novice division for women that may not have played before or have very limited experience. At the end of it all, as long as you are having fun, that’s all that counts.
As someone who took her shot and created your own organization, what would you tell other women who want to use the fire in their soul to create their own organization or business?
ASHLEY: I may sound like a broken record here, but JUST START! I have learned throughout this process that the HARDEST part is starting. I also read somewhere at some point that if you wait until you have everything together or until its “perfect” you will NEVER do it. Which is true
I had this idea that kept nagging at me for a few months and I was a little intimidated by it because I wasn’t sure if I had the ability to start an organization on my own with little help. I took one step at a time and then one day I just said, let’s do this, what am I waiting for?
Do not wait, get your plans in order and get going!