This post is a tribute to an incredibly popular follower, Kayla Franchesca @kaylachesca -
1. Kayla is a speedy, offensive Filipina left winger. Growing up in the Philippines, there were not many girls playing hockey, and at the age of 6, Kayla decided she wanted to play the sport because of her love for the Mighty Ducks movies (she looked up to the character Connie Moreau) and to be different than her peers. She always played in boys’ leagues despite having to endure unfortunate bullying and harassment.
2. She was trained by her uncle, Carl Montano, who played beer league hockey in Surrey but was recruited as the head coach for the youth national team while vacationing in the Philippines.
3. In 2011-12, at the young age of 16, Kayla made her professional debut in the Manila Ice Hockey League, where she was the only female player.
4. Kayla starred in international play, where she medaled on various occasions, including winning a Gold Medal in the 2016 Singapore International Women’s Ice Hockey Tournament, Silver medals in the 2017 and 2018 IHNW Women’s League, a Silver in the 2018 Australia Women’s Ice Hockey League, a Bronze in the 2018 @iihfhockey Women’s Challenge Cup for the Philippines, and a Gold in the 2019 IIHF Women’s Challenge Cup (where she was named the MVP of her team).
5. Kayla currently lives in Australia, where she is a fitness/nutrition expert/influencer on @instagram, runs Athletes’ Podium, an online platform dedicated to sharing athletes’ underdog stories for inspiration, and continues to represent her home country in international hockey tournaments.
She also has way more followers than me!