Margaret “Digit” Murphy visited the Pro Football Hall of Fame last year and left frustrated. She saw hundreds of millions of dollars spent on a museum for one sport dominated by men and little visibility of anything celebrating women’s sports.
The women’s hockey coach decided to do something about it. She ranted to her friend Jeff Novotny, a Wesley Chapel resident and father of three girls who play hockey. He suggested a virtual museum at his community ice center.
Thus, HERstory was born.
The virtual museum, a hall-of-fame-type display of women in hockey, opens at 1 p.m. today at AdventHealth Center Ice in Wesley Chapel, the day after International Women’s Day.
The display includes Murphy, who was the first female NCAA coach to 200 wins; Katey Stone, the coach at Harvard and a former U.S. national team coach, and Katie Guay, the first female to officiate Division I men’s games.
Murphy and Novotny met when his daughter attended one of Murphy’s hockey camps in the area. They became friends and now are partners in an effort to promote women’s sports.
The museum comes from the idea that Murphy’s legacy is sharing her story as a means to bring other women together. By creating a place where women’s hockey trailblazers can share their stories, Murphy and Novotny hope to inspire another generation.
They hope to demonstrate to girls who think they can’t play hockey because the sport is just for boys that they can get out on the ice.
“When girls and women walk through this museum, I want them to see themselves sitting in the seats of the women before them,” Murphy said in a promotional video.
Admission to the museum, in the ice center’s North Viewing Room, is free.
AdventHealth Center Ice is at 3173 Cypress Ridge Blvd.; ahcenterice.com
For more information on the HERstory project, see getherstory.com.