Minnesota Mom Finalist for NHL Community Hero Award for Efforts to Diversify Youth Hockey – WCCO

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (WCCO) – The National Hockey League is recognizing a Minnesota woman, noting her efforts to diversify the game at the youth level, especially when it comes to women’s hockey.

Meredith Lang wants to see her daughters and their friends have a space to play hockey and feel safe and included. That starts with Hockey Niñas and developed into partnerships that helped form Minnesota Unlimited.

So the league nominated Lang for the Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award, named after the NHL’s first Black player.

(credit: CBS)

“To have all of our supporters… Minnesota Wild, Minnesota Hockey, every local association our kids join, it’s really special,” Lang said.

Mia Lang, her daughter, says she’s more confident playing hockey as she’s not the only person of color on the ice.

But Meredith Lang’s mission isn’t just to help her daughters.

“Here in Minnesota, we should be pioneering this space,” Lang said. “So to be able to get votes and actually take home an award, and to be the first woman to win the Willie O’Ree Award would be extremely special and allow us to have a platform even bigger in this space.”

Whether Lang won or not, the mission remained the same.

“I want to encourage others to do this work in their associations, in their communities,” says Lang. “You don’t have to be at this level, everyone has a job they can do.”

Lang was one of three finalists for the Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award. The winner was determined by Willie O’Ree himself, the NHL and fan voting.

The finalists will have a prize of $5,000 donated to a charity of their choice. The winner receives $25,000.

To vote for Lang, click this.

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