Donna Brooks – Athlete

The name Donna Brooks is synonymous with Women’s Hockey in Prince Albert. She was a trail blazer in minor hockey in the city, going on to represent the city and province at numerous high level competitions then forging a strong women’s team for over 30 years.

In the early 1980s Donna wanted to play minor hockey, but was uncomfortable as she would be the only girl. She approached minor hockey and asked them if she formed an all-girls team, could the team play in minor hockey. She did form a team of girls aged 10-16 and this team was placed in the peewee division.  That grew into 3 teams for a brief time, but the boom was short lived and she then competed on men’s rec teams. Eventually she was recruited by Nancy Dragon to join the PA Bingo Blazers, an organization she would be an integral part of for many years.

In Donna Brooks’ prime as a hockey player she competed provincially 12 times as well as at First Nations tournaments, Western Canadian Shield competitions and the Esso National Championship.

From 1991 to 1993 she was the Captain of the Prince Albert entry in the Western Canadian Shield championship tournament, then in 1994 was picked up by Saskatoon for the same event. In all four Western Canadian tournaments, Brooks won at least one Player of the Game honour. She also played on teams at the Banff Hockey Canada Tournament 3 times, including winning the event in 1995.

In 1990 Brooks joined a team from Saskatoon to compete for the Esso Canadian Women’s Challenge. Although the Saskatchewan entry was not strong, Brooks was the only member of the team to score a goal against powerhouse Ontario, managing to beat Hockey Hall of Fame defenseman Geraldine Heaney to the puck.

Later on in her career, Brooks would compete at the Edmonton Ice Nomads tournament three times highlighted in 2012 by scoring the only goal in a 10 person shoot out.

Donna Brooks’ milestone contribution to hockey in Prince Albert began with the PA Bingo Blazers. Within three years of joining the team Brooks was the key organizer, a position that has lasted through 2016. The team has had various names along the way: Loren’s Blades, PA Optimist Rangers, the PA Stars and the PA Tundra. For 28 of the 30 years she was involved, it is believed Brooks was the teams’ points leader tallying well over 500 goals and 1000 points.

Her organizational skills as a volunteer to line up practices and games have allowed hundreds of women over the years to participate in the sport in Prince Albert. A recipient of the YWCA Women of Distinction Award,

At the time of induction in 2016, Brooks was still play and organizing the PA Tundra women’s rec hockey team and active in the sport of Crossfit.

2016 sees Donna Brooks retire as an active player in Women’s Hockey but her legacy in the sport will be a lasting one in Prince Albert.