MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA (July 1, 2021) – Play It Again Sports and Winmark – the Resale Company™ announced a formal partnership with Blake Bolden, a trailblazer in women’s hockey who competed in the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) and is a pro scout for the Los Angeles Kings, to sponsor her inspiring girls mentorship program – emBolden her. The free six-month mentorship program will welcome 25 female hockey participants, ages 13-16, from across North America and support and empower them as they navigate and become trailblazers in the world of ice hockey.
The application period is now open through August 31, 2021. Lucky winners will be selected by Bolden and Winmark and announced via email on September 10, 2021. The program will meet virtually once per month for 90 minutes and will run from October 2021 to March 2022. Discussions will include a variety of topics, from mental preparation and goal-setting to self-motivation and time management, as well as a special guest speaker.
Bolden’s hockey journey began at age 6 when she got her first set of hockey gear at her local Play It Again Sports. Since then, Bolden has gone on to make history as the first Black women’s hockey player to compete in the NWHL and the second woman to ever scout in the NHL. She also just joined ESPN’s NHL Coverage Team as an NHL reporter for the 2021-2022 season.
“This isn’t just about me,” says Bolden. “I decided to do more and be more for those young girls who waited for me after the game. I get energy speaking to young girls and would always come away feeling inspired simply by being vulnerable with them – it changed my entire persona. This was so important to me; I dedicated my life to it. Play It Again Sports, where I got my first set of gear, allowed me the opportunity to play this sport at a time when I wouldn’t have been able to afford new gear. I am so excited to be partnering with them on this initiative. I have one message for kids coming up in hockey today: Be true, be you, be bold.”
Female participation in ice hockey has increased 21% from 2010-2020, according to National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) figures. This program will support girls and young women by empowering them as they navigate the world of ice hockey, together.
“We are thrilled to partner with Blake Bolden for her inspiring mentorship program and allow the opportunity for our young customers to learn from such a role model in this sport,” says Renae Gaudette, President of Franchising at Winmark Corporation. “Play It Again Sports and Winmark are proud sponsors of this initiative and look forward to making an impact on young players’ lives.”
To learn more and to apply, please visit playitagainsports.com/embolden-her. Play It Again Sports and The Winmark Corporation have been NSGA members since 1990.
About Play It Again Sports
Play It Again Sports is your neighborhood sporting goods store. We buy, sell and trade quality used and new sports gear and fitness equipment. Our goal is to provide value to our customers, first by helping them recycle their quality used sports gear and then by passing along the savings to them when they need to update their gear. To learn more visit playitagainsports.com.
About Winmark – the Resale Company™
A nationally recognized franchising business, Winmark Corporation champions and guides entrepreneurs interested in opening one of our award-winning retail resale brands: Plato’s Closet®, Once Upon A Child®, Music Go Round®, Play It Again Sports® and Style Encore® For more than 30 years, Winmark has been at the forefront of the sustainability movement. We have made resale retail our business by selecting franchise partners that believe in the model of buying and selling locally sourced, quality used products that bring value to their communities and leave our planet better for generations to come. Visit winmarkcorporation.com for more information.
About Blake Bolden
Blake Bolden is a former women’s professional ice hockey player who has broken many barriers in achieving many firsts in the sport of women’s ice hockey. Bolden joined the Los Angeles Kings in 2020 as their Growth and Inclusion Specialist and pro scout, the second woman to ever scout in the NHL, and was recently added to ESPN’s NHL Coverage Team as an NHL reporter. Learn more at blakebolden.com.