Our her Soul Shot team is based in Edmonton, Alberta and we’ve teamed up with our local friends at Oilersnation to feature some of the incredible women who are making a difference and doing rad things in the hockey community!
We also wanted to share their stories with you here—the more inspiration the more fuel we have to change the dang world, right?!
First up is Jennifer Wrobel: A kindergarten teacher, Number 1 Oilers fan, and a leader in creating Oilers Girls Night, an initiative that brings the women’s hockey community together for a good cause!
You can read the full interview on Oilersnation here!
MEET JENNIFER WROBEL
Who is Jen?!
Growing up, I always wanted to be a teacher, and specifically a Kindergarten teacher. Well, after a degree in elementary education, minoring in special ed and about a decade of subbing, part-time teaching, temporary contract jobs, etc., I finally found my dream job of teaching full day Kindergarten and now teach a morning (in person) class and an online afternoon class. I absolutely love Kindergarten!
What are your passions?
Kindergarten and early learning are most certainly passions of mine. I’m also definitely on the fanatic side of being an Oilers fan as well.
How did you get into hockey? Have you always been as passionate about it as you are now?
I don’t remember a second of my life when I didn’t love hockey! My grandma used to tell me that she would have me beside her when she was reading her newspaper and at six months old I would clap and get excited when she got to the sports section! I remember going to games with my dad as a kid and I totally remember the 1990 Cup run and win because my sisters and I would cover my grandma’s driveway in sidewalk chalk Oilers logos and Stanley Cup drawings.
When I was 18 I lined up at “Hire a Student” like we all did back in the day when it was time to find a summer job, and Northlands was there hiring. Well, I absolutely knew how much I’d love to get paid to be at Oilers games, so I filled out an application and even though I answered the “How do you maintain a positive attitude?” question with “Smile, be happy and Go Crazy” (as the Go Crazy saying was the Oilers’ ad campaign at the time), I actually got hired and I got to be an usher at Oilers games throughout my university career!
Have you faced any barriers or hardships being a woman in the hockey community?
I may be in the minority here, but not really. I have certainly had moments when I know my opinion wasn’t taken seriously or when I wasn’t even heard, but I don’t feel like being a female has been a barrier at all.
I didn’t play hockey growing up though, but that was a money reason, not a ‘being a girl’ reason, even though I always wanted to! So, when I moved out to the small town I live near now, I joined their women’s team as everyone was welcome! Well, let me tell you, getting your body to do the things your brain knows it should when you’re 30-something is quite the challenge!
Everyone on that team was so helpful and positive and made me really feel like a part of their team, but a hockey player I am not! My first ever game was kind of an accident. It was a scheduled practice night but a team showed up, so we ended up playing a game (I was certainly not ready to play a game yet). As the game unfolded there was a bit of a bench clearing brawl!
Now, if you know me on twitter you know how I love a good hockey fight… EXCEPT NOT IF I’M INVOLVED! I did not partake in the fight and I really questioned what I’d gotten myself into at that point hahaha I did go back and did score my one and only goal during a home tournament later that year, but I’ve since retired ????
What does hockey mean to you?
I feel like my answer should be a lot more epic than this, but it’s just always felt like a best friend to me. Always a part of my life. Sometimes we are on good terms and sometimes I get my heart broken, but I’ll never give up on it.
Let’s talk Oilers Girls Night!
What is it?
Oh I’m so glad you asked! It is an amazing night of watching an (away) Oilers game at The Pint off Whyte, with some of the most fabulous ladies of Oilersnation! All while raising money with a silent auction for You Can Play Canada! (Although we have exciting news about our postponed event once we can finally host it!)
How did this come about?
Talking through Twitter one night with Allie, Lynn Mercereau, and my sister, Krista, we decided to finally meet up for drinks and to watch a game! There were a few of us planning to meet up and this was going to be Allie’s debut party so we decided to turn it into a fundraiser for a good cause!
We asked Twitter for some silent auction items and wow did the good people of Oilers Twitter ever deliver! Our first event was on January 13, 2018 and not only did we have a blast and got to see an Oilers win, but we also raised over $2100 for You Can Play Canada.
Our second year’s event was bigger and better! We started collecting feminine products that (going forward) will be going to No Woman Without and we ended up raising over $4500! We cannot wait to see what is in store for our hat trick event! Hopefully we can see everyone in person for it sooner rather than later!
Why is doing it important to you and why do you think it’s important for women in hockey to connect through something like this?
It’s so important to me that the girls coming feel comfortable to be themselves and that’s the reason why for the duration of the Oilers game it’s just the girls! I’ve always found girl friends the hardest to make but by coming together in this way, with hockey being a common interest, it’s been amazing to find so many wonderful women who are a ton of fun to hang out with!
What’s your favourite part of doing it?
So many things! The hugs! The chance to meet the ladies from Oilers Twitter! The ability to watch a game with so many women who love the game and of course the incredible rush we get from being able to raise money for an LGBTQI2S+ charity because love is love and Oiler fans are Oiler fans!