By day, we’re marketing geeks. Computer nerds. Quirky writers and artists. And damn proud of it!

But after hours, our team members shed their marketing capes – and pursue all kinds of cool Hobbies, Interests and Talents (we call them HITs for short).

Here’s what Becca Searns, a Marketing Support Specialist for Haley Marketing Group, is into:

HIT: Hockey Player and Team Pioneer

It all started in 6th grade…

…when I played floor hockey for the first time in gym class. I loved it and wanted to try the real deal.

It’s been 10 years since I started playing ice hockey, and I never imagined I’d be where I am today with the sport back then. Next season not only will I be playing on two teams (my RIT club team and the Rochester Edge Women’s Senior Team), I will also be an assistant coach on the MYCH Edge 16u Girls NTB team.

What do I love most about hockey?

Speed, competition, camaraderie…in other words, all of it!

I love the strategy of the women’s sport and the fast-paced, hard-fought battles in every game. The camaraderie of being on a team and the pure beauty of the sport. Being able to completely release all of my stress and only focus on the game. And doing it all on two 1/8″-thick steel blades.

I would not be who I am today without hockey; it has helped me grow in so many ways. I’ve learned invaluable leadership and teamwork skills; how sweat and hard work can really pay off; and that I’m capable of doing anything I set my mind to.

Hockey has also helped me become a role model for younger female players. I’ve shown them the power of hard work; that girls are just as capable as guys; and that they can do anything they set their minds to, as well.

I’m bringing all of these lessons with me as I start my coaching career, so I can give back to the sport that has given so much to me.

Necessity is the mother of invention…

When I was headed to my freshman year of college at RIT, I was terrified to think I might not have anywhere to play now that I’d finished high school. I didn’t know if there were any teams in the area, and while my school had a varsity team, they had no club team.

So I did what any sane person would do. I started my own team.

My freshman year I spent most of my free time figuring out logistics and recruiting people to start a club team. During our first season as a competitive club, we took second place in our league. Starting in the fall of my senior year we will enter our second official season as a competitive club team with a move into the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) D2 women’s league.

It’s been a long, hard, uphill struggle to get the team off the ground and running smoothly, and we’re not done yet. But the journey has been amazing so far. In a decade’s time, I went from someone who couldn’t stand up on skates to a woman who’s pioneering new teams and sharing the ice with high-level players.

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