When you think of ice hockey, you think of big men and a violent sport: Your first thought isn’t necessarily a 5ft 2 girl battling it out with people of all shapes and sizes on sharp metal blades with big sticks. The surprise on people’s faces when I tell them that ice hockey is the sport I play is always funny to watch.
In the years that I have been at UEA, Avalanche or ‘the Avs’, our ice hockey team has become a development forward club encompassing both an A team as well as a B team, affectionately known as ‘the aBs’. As a small sport on campus we have become a close-knit community, not least owing to the three-hour round trip just to get on the ice.
Ice hockey for me began in my first year, after getting back on my figure skates after a number of months, maybe even years. Initially I intended on getting some practice and maybe venturing to a training session so that by second year I would be ready for a game, but boy was I in for a treat! On the Monday when I first tried on a set of hockey skates I was asked if I would play in the first game which was on that very Friday. Not only did I get a training session, I was on the first line out for the 2018 season.
My first game, along with the people, sucked me into the club and as I am always told they dragged me to the dark side. Two years later and not only am I still playing but I am President of the club and enjoy skating on both my figure and hockey skates whenever I get on the ice. This club has fostered some of my closest friendships and I now even live with someone from the team.
My biggest highlight to date was last year, when despite the season getting cut short, we played one of our most intense games. We faced off against the Oxford Women’s team who had 18 players to our measly nine. Despite the pitiful looks from the referees we managed to battle to a victory of 3-1. The game and the ‘Dream Team’ will not be forgotten any time soon.
The next year is going to be a very uncertain one for all clubs with Ice Hockey being no exception. Despite this, the entire committee and I are working tirelessly to see as many returning players alongside new members returning to the ice.