Lady Isobel Gathorne-Hardy

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Lady Isobel Gathorne-Hardy (1897)

Lady Isobel Gathorne-Hardy (née Stanley; September 2, 1875 – December 30, 1963) was the daughter of former Governor General of Canada Lord Stanley of Preston. While living in Canada, Stanley helped to popularize ice hockey and is one of the first known women to play the game. The National Women's Hockey League's championship trophy is called the Isobel Cup in honor of her contributions to ice hockey.

Personal life[edit]

Lady Stanley was the daughter of Frederick Stanley and Lady Constance Villiers. She was one of seven children, five boys and two girls. Stanley later married General Hon. Sir John Francis Gathorne-Hardy, taking the name Isobel Gathorne-Hardy. They had one child: daughter Elizabeth Constance Mary Gathorne-Hardy. She later became Dame Commander of the Royal Victorian Order.

Ice hockey[edit]

Women playing hockey. Isobel wearing white clothes.

Stanley shared her father's love of the game of ice hockey and was instrumental in convincing her father to create the Stanley Cup.[1] Stanley played hockey while she was in Canada, playing on the outdoor rink at Rideau Hall. After the opening of the Rideau Skating Rink, Stanley is mentioned in one of the first games of women's hockey, played at Rideau Rink in 1899.

Isobel Gathorne Hardy Award[edit]

Lady Isobel Stanley Gathorne-Hardy's role as a pioneer of women's ice hockey in Canada is acknowledged with the Isobel Gathorne-Hardy Award. The award is given to an active player (at any level) whose values, leadership and personal traits are representative of all female athletes.[2]

Year Winner Province
2000 Linda Irving[3] Prince Edward Island
2001 Julie Foster Saskatchewan
2002 Andria Hunter[4] Peterborough, Ontario
2003 Tanya Leone[5] British Columbia
2004 Jane Legacé[6]
2005 Cathy Phillips[7]
2006 Melanie McFarlane[8]
2007 Karen Mamchuk[9]
2009 Charla Currie[10]
2011 Nancy MacMillan[11] West Prince, P.E.I.
2012 Jordan Krause[12] Kelowna, B.C.
2013 Caroline Ouellette[13] Montreal, Quebec
2014 Lisa-Marie Breton Montreal, Quebec
2015 Mallory Deluce[14] Toronto, Ontario
2016 Toni Ross[15] Saskatchewan

Isobel Cup[edit]

The National Women's Hockey League's championship trophy is called the Isobel Cup in her honor.[16]

Year Winner MVP
2016 Boston Pride Brianna Decker
2017 Buffalo Beauts Brianne McLaughlin
2018 Metropolitan Riveters

Alexa Gruschow

2019 Minnesota Whitecaps

Lee Stecklein


  1. ^ "Biographies". Retrieved September 29, 2009.
  2. ^ Shea, Kevin; Wilson, John Jason (2006). Lord Stanley: The Man Behind the Cup. Bolton, ON: Fenn Publishing. p. 421. ISBN 978-1-55168-281-5.
  3. ^ "The Official Website of Hockey Canada". Retrieved January 21, 2014.
  4. ^ "2002 Esso Canadian National Championship". Retrieved November 25, 2010.
  5. ^ "Team Alberta captures seventh national title". Hockey Canada. Retrieved November 25, 2010.
  6. ^ "The Official Website of Hockey Canada". Retrieved January 21, 2014.
  7. ^ "2004–05 OWHA Annual Report" (PDF). Ontario Women's Hockey Association. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 6, 2011. Retrieved April 9, 2010.
  8. ^ "2006 Esso Women's National Championship Award Winners Announced". Hockey Canada. March 20, 2006. Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved April 9, 2010.
  9. ^ "Award Winners announced at Esso Women's Nationals". Hockey Canada. March 8, 2007. Retrieved November 25, 2010.
  10. ^ "In the Crease Hockey PEI" (PDF). Hockey PEI. April 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 12, 2011. Retrieved November 25, 2010.
  11. ^ "Award Winners Announced for 2011 Esso Cup; Semifinals Set for Frinday". April 21, 2011. Archived from the original on August 6, 2012.
  12. ^ "Pembina Valley and Thunder Bay to Play for Gold Medal; Award Winners Announced for 2012 Esso Cup".
  13. ^ "LHFDQ Nord and North Bay Ice Boltz to face off for gold medal; award winners announced for 2013 Esso Cup". April 26, 2013. Retrieved January 21, 2014.
  14. ^ "Sudbury Lady Wolves and Red Deer Chiefs to meet for gold medal at 2015 Esso Cup; award winners announced : NR.052.15". April 25, 2015. Retrieved June 22, 2016.
  15. ^ "Ross to receive Isobel Gathorne-Hardy Award". April 18, 2016. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  16. ^ "Isobel Cup". National Women's Hockey League. Archived from the original on May 17, 2018. Retrieved May 17, 2018.

External links[edit]