All eyes may have been on the players in an OHL Cup tilt between Team NOHA and the Whitby Wildcats, but it was official Danielle Williams who was making history. On Wednesday, Williams became the first female official to work the high profile OHL Cup powered by Under Armour tournament. A Level 3 official with the Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL), Williams has always had aspirations to dawn the stripes.
“I grew up watching my Mom officiate and eventually began timekeeping in the GTHL,” explained Williams. “As soon as I was old enough it was just something that I had always expected myself to do. Plus, when I used to timekeep I was always so jealous of how much fun the guys on the ice were having.”
Now in her tenth season of officiating, Williams originally looked at the opportunity as a great part-time job. As time went on, she started to set goals for herself in the officiating realm.
“My main goal for the last couple of years has been to do as well as I can so that younger officials can come in and see that if I can go out in a place where I’m a minority, anyone can.”
Although only one of three female officials skating in the GTHL (excluding house league), Williams says that her gender has never been raised in a negative light.
“Honestly, I skate in a league where being a female official isn’t necessarily something that anyone really notices, which is excellent,” said Williams. “It really is a great community of people and I’ve learned so much just by skating with guys who have been doing it for many years.”
Outside of officiating, Williams is working towards her degree in interior design. She will be working multiple games at the 2019 OHL Cup powered by Under Armour.