For Amanda Farren, ice hockey has been in her blood since she was little––but what was a girl to do when her high school and college didn’t have any women’s club teams on campus? Like any determined collegiette, she started her own. Amanda has paved the way for other women with a passion for ice hockey, smashing the idea that sports are just for the boys. Exemplifying leadership, confidence and hard work, this girl can do anything she sets her mind to, and let’s be real, we definitely want her on our team!
Name: Amanda Farren
College: College of the Holy Cross
Graduation Year: 2016
Her Campus: What do you consider your greatest achievement to date?
Amanda Farren: Overall, I really enjoyed the opportunity to share my love of ice hockey with women on the Holy Cross campus through the experience of starting the women’s club ice hockey team. When I first arrived at College of the Holy Cross, there was already a well-established club ice hockey team in place for male students; however, women didn't have the same option. Female students who wished to play ice hockey––aside from the varsity team––didn’t have the opportunity to play. I was inspired to start the Women's Club Ice Hockey Team at Holy Cross in order to create a participation opportunity for women that would benefit current and future female students. This team not only allows girls with previous experience with ice hockey to play, but also allows those with no previous experience to try something that they may not have ever tried otherwise. Regardless of skill level, female students came together to work for a common goal, which is a very empowering experience that created strong friendships on and off the ice. As I hand down my responsibilities to younger teammates, I anticipate a lot of good things to come.
HC: What was the hardest part of starting a women's club ice hockey team?
AF: A lot of work was involved, but every step of the way was worth it. Starting the team involved recruiting student interest, creating a club constitution, speaking in multiple SGA meetings and gaining votes for the approval and recognition of the club. Once the team was established, many duties were necessary for the development of the new team including corresponding with other teams to create a game schedule, booking referees, EMTs and transportation, collecting and disbursing team funds, working with adviser to schedule ice time, organizing fundraising and volunteer opportunities for the team, conducting team meetings and coaching as well as participating in practices and games.
HC: Why has your participation with ice hockey been so instrumental in your life?
AF: My first time playing ice hockey was the winter after I turned ten years old, the first year that a recreational team was established for girls in my area. Though I had been a figure skater since age five, I determined that I might prefer the camaraderie of a team sport, and grasped at the opportunity. I worked hard during practice and ended up scoring the first goal of our first game. Since then, I have felt a strong sense of strength and excitement from playing hockey, and feel that the discipline and time commitment required to play ice hockey has influenced my determination in all aspects of my life.
Knowing that my high school did not have a women’s team established, I briefly contemplated playing on the boys’ team, but I faced less than encouraging reactions toward the idea. People believed that the sight of a ponytail coming out of my helmet would cause opponents to target me on the ice in order to show that I don’t belong. Growing up as a female hockey player, I was exposed to a lot of unconscious stereotyping, receiving comments from “you don’t look like a hockey player,” to “make sure you wear the cage on your helmet because girls have to be careful not to mess up their faces.” I wondered: Why is it that girls are not often taught to score the winning goal, but they’re often taught to clap for the guys that do? That’s when I set out to start the girls program for my high school, which became a reality during my junior year. The experience was extremely fulfilling and gave me the spirit to start a women’s club ice hockey team in college.
HC: Who in your life most inspires you?
AF: My parents are the most inspirational people in my life. They’re the kindest, most hardworking people I know, and they inspire me every day.
HC: What advice do you have for other ambitious collegiettes with a goal/dream?
AF: I strongly believe that women should never back down or shy away from reaching their goals. Wayne Gretzky puts it best: “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” You will never regret trying to reach your goals. Don’t let someone (including yourself) convince you that something is too challenging and out of reach. It is extremely gratifying to strive and succeed to make one’s dream a reality.
HC: What are your top goals and priorities post-graduation?
AF: I hope to make each day count.
HC: What is your favorite inspirational quote?
AF: "You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do." - Eleanor Roosevelt
HC: How would you describe yourself in five words?
AF: Dedicated, caring, strong, hardworking, passionate
Gina is a senior at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo studying English and Theatre. She was born and raised in sunny Southern California, which means she's an obvious Disneyland and Mexican food enthusiast. Her work has been featured on Her Campus,The Prospect and xoJane, and during the summer had the pleasure of working at Her Campus as an editorial intern. She is also the Editor in Chief of her college's chapter at Cal Poly. When not obsessively writing and editing, you can usually find her cuddling furry animals, eating donuts or catching up on the latest episode of The Bachelor.