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Queer Hockey Nova Scotia

Halifax, Nova Scotia

David Lewis has been immersed in the world of hockey since childhood. Introduced to the sport at the tender age of four, he quickly embraced the thrill of the game, donning the goalie gear at just five years old. Growing up in a family of hockey enthusiasts, David’s love for the sport flourished, making it a significant part of his life.

As he transitioned into adulthood, David’s connection with hockey took a transformative turn when he moved back to Nova Scotia from Ontario. It was here that he encountered fellow queer hockey players who introduced him to the founder of Queer Hockey Nova Scotia. This encounter marked the beginning of David’s journey as one of the leaders for the organization.

Queer Hockey Nova Scotia is more than a hockey league; it’s a beacon of inclusivity and acceptance. Created in 2020, the organization aimed to provide a safe space for queer individuals to play hockey—a space that had been elusive for some in more marginalized communities.

“We’re just trying to create a safe space for queer individuals to come out, learn the sport, and play with other queers.”

The organization started with a modest footprint, but David’s commitment to the cause grew. In 2022, they organized the first-ever queer hockey tournament in the region, attracting 72 athletes from across North America.

David, passionate about both the sport and the community it fostered, became an integral part of the organizing team. Beyond the ice rink, the organization expanded its offerings to include Friday night scrimmages, skill development nights, and various social events. Their goals were clear—provide a safe space, encourage skill development, and grow the organization to eventually have its own league, akin to those in larger cities.

For David, Queer Hockey Nova Scotia wasn’t just about playing the game; it was about creating a supportive community. His appreciation for hockey underwent a transformation—what was once 90% about the game became a 50-50 balance between the sport and the camaraderie off the ice.

“Having an organization, especially queer-focused, for a sport that I love, has created such a great community. I’ve made so many friends that, in my regular life, I would have never met.”

Yet, growing such an organization came with financial challenges. Ice time and equipment were expensive, and funding became crucial. Programs like Support4Sport played a pivotal role in making Queer Hockey Nova Scotia’s events successful. Thanks to this support, they hosted the 2023 Halifax Pride Cup and continued to grow, with plans for the 2024 Halifax Breakout.

David expressed gratitude for the funding that allowed them to secure ice time, provide jerseys, and keep costs down for players. Queer Hockey Nova Scotia became a transformative force, breaking barriers, creating a supportive community, and redefining the narrative around queer individuals in sports.

“Thanks to Support4Sport, Queer Hockey Nova Scotia was able to host the 2023 Halifax Pride Cup and has been able to continue to grow the organization through scrimmages and other social events.”

As David looked forward to the 2024 Halifax Breakout, he knew that the impact of Queer Hockey Nova Scotia reached far beyond the rink. The organization contributed to a more inclusive and welcoming future for all, echoing the sentiment that sport has the power to bring people together, foster community, and create positive change.


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