We all know Florence Schelling, right? She’s a great former goalie, arguably the best Swiss goalie ever when it comes to women’s ice hockey. Florence is a 4-times Olympian and won the bronze medal with our National team in 2014 when she was also the MVP of the tournament played in Sochi. Moreover, she participated to 11 Worlds and won in 2012, always with our National team, a fantastic bronze medal.
She’s only 31 but already hung up her skates after that she’d played everywhere in the world. She played in Switzerland, overseas – between 2008 and 2013 she played for the Northeastern University (NCAA W) and for the Brampton Thunder (CWHL W) – in Sweden for Linköping HC until 2018 as well, when she decided to retire.
That was a fantastic career, enriched also with the fact that she became the first and only woman who played as a goalie of NLB club (the GCK Lions).
Florence can now add something new on her CV. Recently in fact, she was appointed the new SD of SC Bern!
Our first reaction after the news was: “what, are you serious?!”. That’s not because Schelling is a woman – allright, we admit it, a little also because of that… – but most and above all because she’s unexperienced in this role and because, with all due respect for all the other teams, we’re talking about Bern… one of the most successful clubs in Switzerland.
The Bears made a brave choice. Now, in our opinion the big news shouldn’t be the fact that Florence Schelling is the first woman ever appointed SD of a professional hockey club. Rather, the news should be that Bern decided to assign the position to an unexperienced person.
We personally don’t believe that it should be so stressed that she is the first even woman SD. It’s our opinion. To make clear what is our opinion about gender equality, we can make you an example. We’re totally against the so-called “quotas for women” system. Basically, this means that a percentage of places in a certain field must be given to women. Why? Let’s make an example. If there are 100 places available, why should 50% of them be for women? What about there are only 49 competent women, you add one at random just to make it to 50%? Meanwhile, if there are 100 more competent women it’s right that they are given all the places available. Quotes or not. Therefore, if Schelling is considered by Bern to be the right person in the right place, that’s good enough. Point.
After this brief clarification that explained our point of view, let’s get back talking about sport. Because in the end, Florence Schelling will have to be “judged” only when it comes to sport.
One thing is sure. Florence will bring a breath of fresh air in a club – Bern – that regardless of the great results achieved in recent history seemed like a little bit confused lately.
Florence Schelling knows ice hockey very well, in fact she’s a real hockey woman. Moreover, more importantly considering that she is about to start a whole new adventure, she’s a very smart woman and eager to learn. At least, this is the impression we had when we listened to the several interviews after that she got the job as the Bears’ SD.
And so, why not? Florence Schelling new SD is a choice that in our opinion can be defined in only one way: an intriguing choice.
Only time will tell if Bern made the right choice. With all due respect, we have some doubts right now. Again, that’s not because Florence Schelling is a woman but only because she is not experienced in this role.
After all, we also had doubts about Rikard Grönborg when he was appointed the new coach of the ZSC Lions. Even if only for the fact that he hadn’t been coaching a club team since early 2000. And then, we all know how things went… with Rikard who turned out to be the coach of the year.
We wish Florence the same success Rikard had. And anyway, it’s way too early to judge now. You can’t say that the Bears made the right choice only because Florence Schelling is a woman and you can’t even say that they made the wrong choice only because she in unexperienced. As said, only time will tell if it’s the right move.
Right now, all we can do is wish Florence and SC Bern all the best. Florence Schelling proved that she’s eager to learn, that she’s smart and brave. That she’s enthusiastic and that she knows ice hockey very well. We mean, there is all it takes to do well. As said, an intriguing chioce!
All the best!