Abi Wagner: Trailblazing Young Women’s Hockey in Nashville

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Abi Wagner is a highschool senior from Brentwood who has been playing hockey since she was just six-years-old. Her inspiration to play hockey came from watching her older brother participate in the Get Out And Learn (G.O.A.L) youth hockey program with the Nashville Predators, “I watched him go through the G.O.A.L. program and it looked like a lot of fun, so when I was old enough to participate in the program, my parents signed me up and I have been playing ever since!” Abi said.

Hockey is usually instinctively thought of as a masculine sport, but Abi takes to the ice with confidence and tenacity, “Even though hockey is mostly a male-dominated sport, it doesn’t really affect me that much anymore because I’ve been playing for so long. There have been teams I tried out for that I didn’t make because I’m a girl, or if I made a team I wouldn’t get as much playing time on the ice, but in the long run I found teams that were a better fit for me to play for.”

Abi was recently invited to participate in a unique mentorship opportunity with trailblazer and women’s hockey champion, Blake Bolden. Blake competed in the National Women’s Hockey League and is a current scout for the Los Angeles Kings.  Blake’s passion for hockey and her personal drive propelled her to break barriers and achieve what seemed impossible.  She believes, “If you can see it, you can be it”. She loves to work with girls across the country to guide them as they set their goals to achieve greatness in hockey through her emBolden Her Mentorship. The mentorship initiative focuses on empowering female hockey players ages 13-16.

Abi discovered the emBolden Her Mentorship Initiative from her involvement with Play It Again Sports ~ Brentwood, a sponsor of her current young women’s hockey team, and applied for the mentorship program. Abi was one of the 25 female hockey players selected for the mentorship out of applicants ranging from all across the USA and Canada.

The Blake Bolden emBolden Her Mentorship Initiative focuses on mental preparation, goal setting, self-motivation, nutrition, time management, and spreading kindness. Abi’s takeaway from the sessions have helped with her mindset both on and off of the rink, “My favorite topic we covered was goal setting. Going over different ways to approach goals have helped me get a better idea of how to mentally and physically prepare for games, tournaments, seasons, and life as a whole.”

During the Mentorship, Blake stressed her motto “If you see it, you can be it”. When asked what that means to her, Abi’s response was that of positivity and determination: “To me, it means that if you can see yourself being in a certain position or reaching a certain goal, there is a way for you to reach it… My most significant takeaway from the mentorship was not to let anyone else’s thoughts get in the way of my own. I shouldn’t let others’ opinions affect my belief in myself.”

We had the opportunity to ask Blake Bolden about her time with Abi. In a statement, Blake said:  “I am very proud of Abi and her positive impact on the community. It makes me so happy to see a young woman of her character believing in herself to influence the world around her. During the mentorship, Abi was a great participant. She was consistent in showing up. Although shy at first, she began to open up giving honest feedback from her own experiences growing up playing hockey. Her presence gave younger mentees confidence to be focused and safety to have the courage to speak up. Abi was a great listener and really enjoyed the special guest speakers. I’m so glad Abi took the step in applying to the mentorship program and I hope it gave her the support she needed.”

Abi Wagner has a bright future within women’s hockey ahead of her. She recently was instrumental in developing a young women’s hockey league in Nashville, the Greater Nashville Athletic Scholarship Hockey League (GNASH), in cooperation with the WMB foundation.

The WMB foundation exists to educate and serve others by creating opportunities that  inspire positive change in the community.

Interested in Hockey? Score More. Save More. Play More. with Play It Again Sports ~ Brentwood & Hendersonville 

Abi WagnerPlay It Again Sports ~ Brentwood & Hendersonville has New and Gently Used equipment to keep you on the ice this season.

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