Hockey Manitoba is excited to announce the coaching staff for the 2022-2023 Female Under-18 Program of Excellence that will compete at the 2023 Canada Winter Games which is scheduled to take place from February 26 to March 5, 2023 in Prince Edward Island.
“2022 marks the first time in the history of the Female Program of Excellence that we will have an all-female coaching staff,” says Dustin Stewart, U18 Team Manitoba Director of Operations. “This has been a long time coming in our program as we have seen some tremendous growth in the female coaching ranks in our province. We are incredibly excited to have such a strong and confident group of female coaches who will be leading our athletes as we work towards the 2023 Canada Winter Games.”
Leading Female U18 Team Manitoba behind the bench will be Ashley van Aggelen (Winnipeg), who is currently the Head Coach of the Winnipeg Avros in the Manitoba Female U18 AAA Hockey League.
Van Aggelen has been the Head Coach of the U18 Provincial team three times, including being the Head Coach for the U18 Provincial Team that captured a silver medal in 2012 in Dawson Creek, B.C. She was also an Assistant Coach for U18 Team Manitoba in 2008 (bronze medal) and Halifax for the Canada Games in 2010.
Van Aggelen began coaching in 2000 after playing four years for the University of Manitoba Bisons women’s hockey team. In 2020, she won the BFL Canada Female High-Performance Coach of the Year Award.
Van Aggelen will be joined by assistant coaches Maggie Litchfield-Medd (Winnipeg) and Karissa Kirkup (Virden).
Maggie Litchfield-Medd is currently the Head Coach of the RINK Hockey Academy (RHA) Female U18 Prep team. Litchfield-Medd played five seasons with the University of Manitoba Bisons women’s hockey team and was team captain in her final year. She served as the assistant coach for University of Manitoba Bisons women’s hockey team during the 2018-19 season before accepting her role with RHA. This will be Litchfield-Medd’s first experience coaching Female U18 Team Manitoba.
Karissa Kirkup is currently the Head Coach of the Brandon U15 AAA Wheat Kings team. Kirkup played two seasons of college hockey with the University of Maine and University of Minnesota-Duluth followed by three seasons with the University of Manitoba Bisons women’s hockey team. Her coaching experience includes coaching the Director’s Cup for three years, and serving as an assistant coach of the U16 Junior Bison team. This will be Kirkup’s first experience coaching Female U18 Team Manitoba.
The Female U18 Program of Excellence process will begin in early June with the Top-68 Camp which will be held from June 3-5, 2022 at Bell MTS Iceplex in Winnipeg. Following the Top-68 Camp, approximately forty players will be invited to the POE Top-40 Camp which will be held from July 22-24, 2022 in Winnipeg.
The Female U18 Program of Excellence is designed to provide high performance female players with the opportunity to develop advanced skills as well as an introduction to the concepts needed to play at an elite level. Players from the Program of Excellence go on to play at the CIS, NCAA and International level.
Hockey Manitoba is pleased to recognize Canad Inns and CCM Hockey as Official Partners of the Program of Excellence, along with Gatorade as the Official Sport Drink of Hockey Manitoba. The POE is our high performance program that offers developing athletes who are on track to be elite with the opportunity to represent their province while providing a solid development path to the National and International stages.
For more information about the Hockey Manitoba Program of Excellence please visit www.hockeymanitoba.ca/programs/poe/.