I’m cutting it close, again. As my mom pulls up to the door, I get out of the passenger seat and run around the car, grab my bag from the trunk—a bag that’s so large I could easily zip myself into it—throw it over my shoulder and walk inside the rink. My hair is tied back with a pink scrunchie, I make a half ass attempt to wipe the glitter off my face with the index finger of my CCM glove. I’m rushing from a dance performance, something my ice hockey coach doesn’t understand, especially when I’m late. I walk into the locker room, filled with thirteen or more boys, I’m the only girl and these are my teammates, close to five days a week for the next twelve years, this would be my life.
It’s present day, I’m on Instagram and then I see it in my feed. A young girl suited up in head-to-toe ice hockey equipment in a lockeroom full of boys. The last time I played competitively was in 2008, the year I graduated college. Eight years later, it still comes flooding back, I transport to my 10-year-old self, the girl Charli pictured in the photo is
me, I can feel it. It also doesn’t help our names are so similar. Who took this photo? What was it for? I had to know. It was the first emotional public comment on social media I ever wrote to a complete stranger—As I wrote a paragraph long response, I spoke about my journey as an athlete, what this photo meant to me, thanking the photographer for this project.
The woman responsible was Christin Rose. Rose started #ShePlaysWeWin
in the fall of 2015, a photo-project documenting young girl athletes all over the country. Rose was looking for a way to give back, to be inspired again with her work—something we can all relate to. She realized what she was searching for was right underneath her nose, “The same type of courage my life requires right now (to take risks, be willing to fail, be a teammate, work on getting better) is the exact same stuff I learned on a softball field when I was 10-years-old,” explains Rose. Growing up playing a sport, Rose never forgot about the confidence it gave her, #ShePlaysWeWin was her way of sharing this sentiment on a larger scale—understanding any girl athlete (then and now) would feel proud, honored, and encouraged from these photos.