SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- When San Diego Angels youth hockey coach Blake Bolden is diagramming plays or drills on her coaching board, you can bet the girls are paying close attention.
"I have loved every moment with these girls. Seeing them from such a young age as 8-year-old's all the way up to 19U"
Now coach Bolden isn't your average everyday youth hockey coach. A former player herself, she's been called the Jackie Robinson of women's professional hockey, and for good reason.
"I'm exceptionally proud of that title," says Bolden. "It's not something I would per-say give myself, but I was just a young girl that loved the sport."
Growing up in Ohio, Blake was introduced to the sport at 6-year's old and says at that time, she was the only black person on the ice. As she got older, she worked hard, playing on mostly boys teams, and eventually ended up at Boston College. Then at the age of 25, she became the first black woman to play professionally in the National Women's Hockey League.
"Just to be able to continue to lace up my skates I was really happy about that. When I found out that I was the first to do this, and the first to do that, it was an amazing feeling."
Out on the ice at the Kroc Center, she gets the chance to pass along her knowledge of the game, and in doing so, she has embraced another title, and that would be a role model.
"I have seen and worked with many diverse young girls in division one, and division three college hockey. It's great to see, and I think the more you see young girls of color, they will say hey that's a sport that I can probably play."
Not only has Blake transitioned from player to coach she has also reached another milestone in the sport. In 2020 she became the first black female scout with the Los Angeles Kings.
"When you grow up playing a sport and you've invested so much time, you only want to continue to stay within the game."