The European Women's Hockey League Players Association announced its formation early Thursday afternoon.
The full text of the statement is present below.
"The European Women's Hockey League (EWHL) Players Association is announcing its formation.
"The mission of the EWHL PA is to represent the interests of the players in the league and to play an active role in its future development. The group was established in March of 2023 with player representatives from all teams competing in the EWHL.
"The international landscape of women’s hockey has changed significantly over the life time of the EWHL and it has become apparent that a players association is necessary to address the needs and concerns of the athletes who make up the league. The newly formed association will serve as a unified voice for the players, and we will work together to promote the league, ensure player safety, and improve the conditions for all players.
"We are inspired by the success of players associations in North America and Sweden, which have played a pivotal role in the growth of their respective leagues. We believe that by working with the league, we can create a better environment for everyone involved in the sport. We are excited about this new chapter and look forward to working to grow the game within the EWHL participating nations."
Also included in the statement was a list of the PA's founding members. That list includes:
Jacquie Pierri (Bolzano Eagles)
Samantha Gius (Bolzano Eagles)
Elena Perathoner (Bolzano Eagles)
Amie Varanno (Bolzano Eagles)
Alicia Williams (Aisulu Almaty)
Roxanne Rioux (Aisulu Almaty)
Nicole Vigilanti (Neuberg Highlanders)
Imola Hovárth (MAC Budapest)
Madie Leidt (KMH Budapest)
Alessandra Lopez (Kärnten Lakers)
Alina Hinum (Kärnten Lakers)
Jaimie Rainville (Budapest Acadamy)
Kristen Guerriero (Budapest Acadamy)
Lilla Carpenter-Boesch (Budapest
Enikő Tóth (Budapest Acadamy)
Klaudia Chrapek (Silesian Poland)
Lucia Ištocyová (SKP Bratislava)
McKenna Hulslander (Salzburg Eagles)
Amongst those at the forefront has been Pierri, a former Clarkson Cup champion with the CWHL's Calgary Inferno before taking her talents overseas (and writing briefly for TIG as well).
"I strongly believe that players should have a seat at the table and avenue through which to voice concerns and influence the direction of league growth," Pierri stated in an email along with the PA's press release. "I hope that through this players association [sic] we will be able to get a better understanding of what players in the league are lacking and subsequently to advocate for the changes the players wish to see.
"Our initial meeting with the league management was positive and we look forward to collaborating more going forward."
Formerly the Elite Women's Hockey League, the EWHL was founded in 2004 as a parallel to the men's Interliga. Their 10 teams are focused mostly in central and eastern Europe, with a team also located in Kazakhstan.