Each year, the Chilliwack Progress teams up with Brad Geary’s English 10 Honours class at Sardis secondary school, inviting students to write sports articles.
The best of the best get published in the pages of the Progress sports section. Today’s is the third of four articles, detailing the busy but rewarding life of working mom Michelle Price.
Sardis secondary school
Juggling a full time job, a part time job and a home business, as well as chauffeuring her thirteen-year-old daughter around, doesn’t leave single mom Michelle Price much time for herself.
Still, she has committed Friday evenings to the Jolly Miller women’s ball hockey team.
Since age 10 Michelle has enjoyed playing all kinds of sports. Over the years she has played volleyball, basketball, baseball, soccer, as well as track, relays and marathons.
At age 12 she became interested in hockey, and wanted to play street hockey with the boys in her neighbourhood.
“Thinking they’d scare me off, they made me goalie,” Price explained, “For hours they whacked those hard orange plastic balls at me as hard as they could, and I went home exhausted. But the next day I returned, covered with many multi-coloured bruises, still wanting to play with them. I earned their respect and convinced them that I was worthy, and from then on they let me play.”
Michelle is forever in the world of men, working the day shift at Langley Concrete where she is the only woman in her division. At night she deals with all sorts of people as she works at the Rainbow Gas Station in Yarrow.
Price enjoys playing hockey because she can let off steam without hitting others.
Although they have neither the coaching, nor the pay given to professional players, Price is happy. They play with great unity, this team of women, and they can be as aggressive as men at times.
The whole team has made a commitment to play, not because of money, but for the joy of playing, and of course winning. These girls may not have the expensive coaching, but they are still skilled.
This small-league team averages 26 games per year, competing with 10 other teams.
Of the two years Michelle has played, she is positive that this year was a lot better than last year. She hopes next year will be better still.
“Last year they lacked commitment,” she explained, “You don’t play your best if you lack commitment, especially if you just don’t show up. It’s really hard to play a game if you have only six players show up, but we had to, and we survived.”
The whole team was ecstatic when they were the winning team in last year’s tournament.
Both the members of the Jolly Miller team and their friends and family rejoiced, with many hugs and back-slaps exchanged.
Even though the games hadn’t been watched by hundreds of screaming fans, the victory was still sweet and they were proud of themselves.
All week long Price looks forward to getting together with her ‘sisters-in-hockey,’ to encourage them and elevate their spirits.
When asked what advice she had for all those considering joining a sports team she said, “You must be committed and set apart the time you need to practice so you don’t let your team down. You need to be disciplined in keeping to your schedule. If you are to be any good you must listen to and obey the instructions of your leaders. You must know your part and do it to the best of your ability.”
If you do, you can have success just like Price, a woman who provides living proof that you’re never too busy to get involved in community sport.