Barry Wisener received the Female Hockey Breakthrough Award at the Hockey Canada Spring Congress in Regina on Friday. The national award recognizes an individual for their outstanding leadership and contribution to the advancement of female hockey.
(PHOTO: Wisener, fourth from right, poses for a photo in Regina with Hockey Canada president Tom Renney (left), chairman Joe Drago (right), Sheldon Kennedy (fourth from left) and the other award winners.)
Wisener is a former member of the Hockey Nova Scotia Female Council, a former president of the Nova Scotia Female Midget Hockey League (NSFMHL), and a longtime coach and volunteer. Below is Barry’s biography as presented by Hockey Canada at the awards ceremony in Saskatchewan.
Hockey Nova Scotia would like to thank Barry for his years of service and congratulate him on receiving this prestigious award.
Barry Wisener - Female Hockey Breakthrough Award
Female hockey in Nova Scotia would look much different today if not for one daughter’s decision and one dad’s determination. It was fall 2006, and young Abby Wisener wanted to play hockey. Her dad, Barry, stepped up to coach her Novice team that first season, recruiting enough girls to play with Abby and instilling in them a love of the game to match his own.
For thinking not only of his own daughter but of everyone’s daughters who dreamed of a game to call their own, Barry Wisener is this year’s winner of the Female Breakthrough Award.
From recruitment to development, promotion to sponsorship, Barry’s fingerprints are stamped over every facet of the female game in Nova Scotia. While his involvement initially followed his daughter’s footsteps in the game, it never dictated the depth of his devotion to ensuring all girls enjoyed the same opportunity to play.
As Abby and her teammates progressed into Peewee, Barry recruited more girls to play with them. Noticing a lack of development at the grassroots level, Barry organized extra skill sessions for the girls. Soon players from other minor hockey associations asked – and were welcomed – in.
In 2011, Barry joined Hockey Nova Scotia’s Female Council in a developmental role that allowed him to provide skill development across the entire province.
He designed and coordinated a program that partnered university female hockey players in the province with grassroots teams. The program connected younger girls with positive role models who showed them what they could aspire to achieve themselves.
Barry also helped implement Hockey Nova Scotia’s Female Festival. The end-of-season event allows more than 400 female players to celebrate the game with development-focused activities.
Barry was instrumental in creating the province’s Bantam female league and, with it, introducing tiered competitive female hockey in Nova Scotia. He then took it upon himself to develop a brochure to promote the female game and the opportunities available in the province. Barry secured sponsorships as well as donations of goods and services, and developed all the content.
Noticing many Midget-aged girls leaving to play elsewhere, Barry created a new brochure to promote the Nova Scotia Female Midget AAA Hockey League and the opportunities it offered. After serving as league president for several seasons, Barry stepped down to take over operations for one of the teams. Barry’s leadership ensured the team wouldn’t fold and its players would continue to have elite-level opportunities.