FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Monday, May 3, 2021
Hockey Brandon Makes History with New U15 AAA Female Hockey Team
BRANDON, MB – For the first time ever in the association’s history, Hockey Brandon is excited to
announce that it is introducing a U15 AAA Female Hockey Program to its lineup for the 2021-2022
Jarrod Franklin, Female Program Director with Hockey Brandon says, “This is the goal we have been
working towards for years. At this particular age, player numbers tend to be an issue. This year, not only
are player numbers the highest they have ever been, but they also appear sustainable for years to come.
That, combined with the depth of our players will take female hockey in Brandon to the next level.”
The team will compete in the Manitoba U15 AAA Female League and is being lead on ice by an allfemale coaching team with strong roots in the Westman region. This is another historical first for rep
hockey in Brandon.
Karissa Kirkup has been selected as Head Coach of the team. Kirkup, originally from the Virden area, is a
product of the Westman Wildcat U18 AAA Female Hockey Program. As a minor, she also played for
Team Manitoba in 2011 and 2012. In 2013, she was invited to attend Team Canada’s U22 training
camps. Kirkup has five years of playing experience at the university level. Her first year was with the
University of Maine, with the remaining four at the University of Manitoba where she helped the team
become USport National Champions in 2018.
“I couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity,” says Kirkup. “I just want to help give female players
the types of experiences and opportunities that I had. Hockey has brought a lot to my life and I am very
committed to developing our athletes and making this program a long-term success.”
Kirkup will be joined by former Westman Wildcat teammate Amanda Coey in the Assistant Coach role.
Coey is from Brandon. Following her minor hockey experience, Coey joined the University of WisconsinSuperior NCAA Division Three women’s hockey program. Coey captained the team in her senior year
before returning to Canada and attending the University of Manitoba where she recently completed her
Master of Physical Therapy in 2020.
Rounding off the coaching unit is Amy Doerksen. Doerksen has been coaching various levels for the past
two decades. She is the current U7 Program Director for Hockey Brandon and a product of the
University of Manitoba Women’s Hockey Program (1997 – 1999). Doerksen was integral in securing
Kirkup as Head Coach and says, “I joined the Hockey Board with a specific goal to get more women in
leadership roles on the ice. Female players need female role models. This team marks the beginning of a
new era in female hockey here in Brandon and it is something we should be very excited and proud of.”
To get a head start on the 2021-2022 season, Kirkup has organized the first Annual U15 AAA Female
Spring Identification Camp proudly sponsored by West-Fit Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic. The
camp takes place May 14th – 16th at the Flynn Arena in the Keystone Centre.
“As a woman business-owner operating in the Brandon area, it is an honour to be connected to this
exciting new program supporting and developing female athletes in my community,” says Sharon
Shepherd BMR.PT, owner of West-Fit Physiotherapy. “It is wonderful that these young women will
receive a much more expansive and competitive opportunity that many of my hockey-playing friends
and myself did not have in our era decades ago. I am also proud of Amanda Coey as a colleague of WestFit Physiotherapy for volunteering in such a terrific project.”
For specific details on the West-Fit AAA U15 Female Spring ID Camp, contact Head Coach Karissa Kirkup.
Jarrod Franklin Karissa Kirkup Amy Doerksen
Female Director Head Coach U7 Director
Hockey Brandon U15 AAA Wheat Kings Hockey Brandon
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