On January 31st, the Professional Women's Hockey League announced that former professional player Saroya Tinker has been named Manager of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives & Community Engagement for the league.
“Saroya already has had a positive impact on the hockey community at large, and she will be an integral part of our team,” said Amy Scheer, PWHL Senior Vice President of Business Operations, in a press release. “We cannot overstate the importance of proactively creating an environment in which diverse voices are heard and celebrated, and we know Saroya will play a vital role in support of that essential initiative while continuing as a leader in our sport, and our league, moving forward.”
Tinker currently serves as the Executive Director of Black Girl Hockey Club Canada, a Canadian Non Profit Organization that focuses on making hockey more inclusive for not only Black women, but for their family, friends and allies.
After graduating from Yale University where she played for four seasons, Tinker played three years in the Premier Hockey Federation for the Metropolitan Riveters and Toronto Six. During her time in the PHF, Tinker was a two-time Foundation Award winner, Denna Laing Award Winner, 2023 PHF All-Star, and most recently won an Isobel Cup with her hometown Toronto Six in 2023. At the end of that season, she announced her retirement and joined CBC, TSN and Sportsnet as a PWHL analyst.
She has had a huge impact on the sport of hockey both on the ice and off as she created 'Saroya Strong,' a mentorship program for young women of color. She launched the program in 2020 after graduation from Yale. Soon after, she started a podcast "Shut Up and Play" that focused on athlete activists and the role athletes have played, on and off the field, in social justice movements.
“I am proud to be working for a league that has been revolutionary in every respect,” stated Tinker. “Our goal is to be the most progressive sports league in the world, and I cannot wait to contribute. I have been an advocate for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion throughout my entire life, hockey playing career, and as the Executive Director of Black Girl Hockey Club Canada."
"I take pride in the change I have empowered, and the work I have done so far. I am excited to take on this new challenge that will allow me to create a strong foundation in the PWHL, with the hope of contributing to a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive sport overall.”