Olympian Hayley Wickenheiser Empowers Girls at Wickfest

Young female hockey players leave festival with skills to last a lifetime

CALGARY, Nov. 30, 2015 /CNW/ - Young women from around the world have been fueled by inspiration and good advice while competing in the World Female Hockey Festival (Wickfest) – the largest all-girl hockey tournament in the world. Over 2,000 participated in the festival last weekend.

Host and Four-Time Gold Medalist Hayley Wickenheiser says the girls will leave this year's tournament with positive hockey experiences, new friends and leadership and life skills. At the tournament, high-profile coaches, athletes, and experts offered workshops and clinics on a range of topics that are important for young girls.

"As our leaders of tomorrow, it's my hope the girls are leaving Wickfest feeling empowered and inspired. I am proud of every single participant for choosing an active and healthy lifestyle, and proud to support their futures," said Hayley. 

An important topic the girls are immersed in during Wickfest is proper nutrition. Young girls and athletes have unique nutrition needs. Building-block nutrients like high quality protein, found in red meat, poultry, eggs and dairy, help muscles recover and repair after high-energy activities like hockey.

"On average teenage girls are under-consuming meat and alternatives. It is vital that everyone, and especially young girls, don't skip on high quality protein sources, which could put them at a very real risk of nutrient deficiencies," explains home economist, Mary Ann Binnie. "In Canada protein only accounts for 14 per cent of the total calories girls eat. It is recommended that 10 to 30 percent cent of their daily calories should come from protein."

High quality proteins are also nutrient-rich, offering many nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, iron and zinc.

"Studies suggest that we may need more protein than currently being recommended. High-quality protein such as lean meats and dairy products are an easy way to increase your protein intake, while alternatives such as lentils, legumes and nuts are also key sources. Protein is vital for active young girls to ensure adequate growth and development," said Dr. Rajavel Elango, Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia. 

Maple Leaf Foods launches Protein Builds
To illustrate the unique benefits of protein to young athletes and all Canadians, Maple Leaf Foods is launching a video series called Protein Builds. The first two videos in the series, featuring Hayley Wickenheiser and Mary Ann Binnie, are now available online. The series aims to inform Canadians about the important role of high-quality protein, including meat and alternative proteins, and eating a well-balanced diet in maintaining good health.

SOURCE Maple Leaf Foods Inc.

Video with caption: "Each year, four-time Olympic gold medalist Hayley Wickenheiser runs the world’s largest hockey tournament for girls. Active bodies need protein. In this Protein Builds video, Hayley demonstrates why protein is an important building block for young, active girls.". Video available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-0U2j6csBQ&feature=youtu.be

Video with caption: "Mary Ann Binnie on the important role of high quality protein, including meat and alternative proteins, and eating a well-balanced diet". Video available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLVs2voX9Rs&feature=youtu.be

For further information: or to coordinate interviews, please contact: Nicholas Canning, Smithcom Ltd., 413-992-7187, nic.canning@smithcom.ca; Ceilidh Price, Ditto Communications, 403-462-7895, cprice@dittocomm.com; Dave Bauer, Maple Leaf Foods, 905-285-1515, david.bauer@mapleleaf.com


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