05/23/2015 11:00 EDT | Updated 05/23/2016 05:59 EDT

Kelowna female hockey star creates charity to help girls play the sport

Danielle Grundy, a former female professional hockey player from Kelowna, B.C., is starting a new charity that she hopes will give young girls an opportunity to chase their puck dreams.

The Grindstone Award Foundation is a non-profit charity that will provide financial aid to female hockey players ranging from five to 18 years old.

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"When I was playing my parents had to sacrifice a lot to enable me to continue my hockey career," said Grundy, who played professionally in Switzerland and is now the female development coach with Kelowna Minor Hockey Association.

"I realize there are struggles out there, and now that I am directly involved with minor hockey, I do see the need."

Grundy says she has benefited tremendously from playing hockey — both on and off the ice — and she wants to offer the same chance to young girls that want to get involved but lack the means.

"Hockey is very expensive, from the ice time to the equipment to the travelling and the registration fees. It's one of the most expensive sports and my parents definitely had to sacrifice out of their own lives to allow me to play hockey at the level I did."

On May 30, Kelowna Minor Hockey is organizing a free event called Girl's Rockin the Rink that will invite aspiring female hockey players to lace up their skates, try the sport and meet some of the coaches. There will also be a silent auction with proceeds going to the Grindstone Award Foundation.

Grundy hopes to eventually raise enough money to fund five scholarships that will ease the financial burden and allow girls to benefit from a sport that has given her so much over the years.

"Every child that has an opportunity to play a high level of sport learns the same life lessons: hard work, discipline, motivation."

To hear the full interview with Danielle Grundy, listen to the audio labelled Girls and Hockey