Sarah Thompson: For the Love of the Game
By Andrew Della Piana | @dellie_5
That’s right, Syracuse women’s ice hockey’s Sarah Thompson has suited up for the Orange 100 times in her collegiate career. The senior joined only a handful of SU players to wear the Orange and Blue at the century mark. Before that 100th contest, it even caught her by surprise.
“You know I didn’t even realize it was my 100th career game I think until like two games before, so pretty exciting milestone, it’s been an amazing four years here so really honored to have played 100 games here at Syracuse.”
While the Ottawa native has dominated on the ice, it’s her impact off the ice that has made the biggest difference.
In 2021, Thompson founded Sticks Together. An organization that aims to give underprivileged communities the opportunity to learn and play hockey. So far, she’s helped out in Argentina and South Africa. She says learning the sport begins at the ground level.
“It starts with street hockey right, that’s where I started with just a stick and a ball on the road I sure as heck didn’t get on the ice the very first time. I played hockey so I think that’s where kids really grow their love for the game, so that’s where I wanted to start.”
“Obviously there’s not too many ice rinks in the Philippines so I think just giving them the awareness of what the game is just giving them the chance to play and learn from some high-level hockey players I think is really exciting. It’s the first step to growing the game internationally.”
High-level indeed as Thompson continues to spread the organization to places like Argentina and South Africa.
“We’re really trying to hit continent by continent, I think the experience we had in South Africa was incredible and a lot of the volunteers that you know weren’t really a part of Sticks Together, but that we met along the way had said amazing things about other programs in Africa so I’m definitely looking to go back thereafter and continue to grow the game.”
Thompson is definitely determined to continue to grow the game. This summer, she is planning to go to the Philippines with a growing number of volunteers. Her head coach couldn’t say enough good things about what she’s seen from the senior.
“Extremely impressive you know we talked about humility being one of our core values and she lives and breathes that through just that nonprofit. She does a fantastic job being out in the community in a number of ways but taking initiative and that Sticks Together. Three different locations and three summers is pretty impressive.”