Dina Crawford

Dina Crawford

Q: Where are you from?
A:I grew up in Durham New Hampshire.

Q: What do you do for a living?
A: I am a certified Life Design Coach and also teach communication and physical exam skills to students at the medical schools in Boston by acting as a patient and giving them feedback. I am the president of the board of a cancer support non-profit called North of Boston Cancer Resource (nbcancerresource.org).

Q: Did you attend a University or College and what was your major?
A: I went to the University of New Hampshire and was a medical technology major.

Q: What team did you play for?
A: In my sophomore and junior years (1977-1979) I played for the first varsity UNH Women’s Hockey Team when it was established due to Title IX. My freshman year I played on the UNH Women’s club team. 

Q: Why did you want to play hockey and how did you get involved with hockey? And how long have you been playing for?
A: In New Hampshire in the 60’s and early 70’s girls didn’t play hockey. My brother, who was 3 years younger than I, played in the town rec league from an early age. I was jealous and dreamed of playing. I loved the Bruins and would listen to the games on the radio at night when I was supposed to be asleep. Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito and Johnny Bucyk were my heroes.

One day my father brought home two sticks from the Sherwood factory where he had been doing some work. One was for me! We had a pond behind our house. I would hang out by the edge between the cattails in my figure skates with my stick and a puck. If the boys didn’t have enough players for their pick-up game they would let me join. I longed to play in a real rink and imagined someday smacking the puck off the boards and shooting at a real net (instead of between two boots).

There was no organized hockey for me to join until I was a senior in high school. A courageous young woman in our town had gone to the board of the rec league to lobby for girls hockey. One man stood up and said, “Girls have no business playing hockey.” But, thankfully, she prevailed and so I finally got to play on my first team with one other high school girl and a bunch of 5th and 6th graders. I ended up playing defense because I was one of the few that could skate well enough backwards. That’s when I got my first hockey skates—Super Tacks, and I finally got to skate in a real rink with real boards and a real net!

I feel so fortunate to have been able to play at UNH at the time I did. I have lifelong friends from that experience and some of us still get to play with or against each other from time to time.

After college I played some coed hockey but then had some back issues and two surgeries so there was a long period of time when I did not play. One day when I was in my early 40’s I ran into my goalie from UNH and she said there was a women’s league in Exeter, NH. I was so excited to get back to it!  I’ve played off and on since then and currently play on the Green Team in the WHLB.

Q: Any advice for achieving your goals?
A: Sure! First, get very clear on your core values and make sure your goals are aligned with them. Then, create a plan and get started. One small action each day adds up. Finally, visualize the result you want as vividly and as often as you can as if the goal has already been achieved. Before long, it will be your reality!

Q: What's the biggest lesson you have taken form hockey that translates into everyday life?
A: Don’t take it too seriously. Relax and enjoy yourself! Sure, it’s great to win but what’s the point if you are not enjoying the process and the people you’re with?

Q: Why do you enjoy playing hockey?
A: Quite simply, it’s fun! I feel the same excitement every time I step on the ice as I did the first time I skated in a rink. When I’m playing, nothing else enters my mind—I’m totally in the moment! And, being part of a community of such amazing women is incredible. The true friendship and supportive relationships that have come about through our shared passion are priceless!

Q: Do you have any hockey career highlights, accomplishments, or favorite memories? 
A: When I played at UNH there was a road trip to Ithaca, NY for games against Cornell and the Ithaca shooting stars. Half our team had the flu so we went with just 7 skaters and a goalie. We squeaked out a 4-3 win against Cornell and beat the Shooting Stars 15 -1!

Q: Any advice for younger atheletes or those who want to start playing hockey? 
A: First, learn to skate as well as you can. As you start playing games, be a really good team member…solid defensive plays and assists are as important as goals. Above all, have fun!