Sports

Goyette named January woman of vision

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The Dinos women's ice hockey team has been making headlines all season with the dramatic addition of Hailey Wickenheiser and the team's move from underdogs to fierce contenders. In the midst of all of the promising chaos, the woman behind the bench women's hockey head coach Danielle Goyette has attracted some attention.

Goyette was named Global Calgary's January 2011 Woman of Vision. The program runs as a partnership between Global Calgary and the Calgary YWCA to recognize the accomplishments of outstanding local women.

"There's an advisory board and each month we feature a woman in both the Calgary Herald in print and broadcast as well," said YWCA Calgary communications associate director Silvana Saccomani.

The woman of vision program highlights women who have overcome barriers in their respective fields and have worked to lessen the gaps that do exist said Saccomani.

These women helped improve the situation of women in their field. The selection committee was particularly impressed by the work that Goyette did to advance women's hockey as an athlete and as a coach said Saccomani.

"She's really been part of moving women's hockey from the backburner or not being on any burner to putting it right up there with men's hockey," she said.

Goyette's leadership role as a trainer and mentor to Dinos athletes also led to her selection said Saccomani.

"It's part of what I've done in women's hockey and how involved I am right now with women's hockey," said Goyette. "I'm developing some of the next future leaders in our society. I love women's hockey and I love the game."

Goyette has been the Dinos head coach for four years, during which time she built the team and moved them from the Alberta college league to CIS, where they are currently ranked seventh overall.

"When I took over the team they kind of had a losing mentality, like it was okay to lose. 'No big deal, we just want to play hockey,' " said Goyette. "That's not the person I am. If we lose because we didn't work hard or because we're not prepared, then I have a problem with that. I think that's what I'm trying to change with this team is wanting to win, to be okay with winning."

Goyette played for the national women's hockey team for 16 years before retiring to become a coach. She attended three Olympics, winning gold medals in 2002 and 2006 and a silver medal in 1998. She competed in nine world championships and won eight. Goyette was the flag bearer at the opening ceremonies at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin, Italy.

"When you play so many years on the national team you play with so many great players on so many great teams," said Goyette. "I've been so lucky that I was part of that team for so long."

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