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Year 11 Beaconhills student Emma S has become one of just a handful of Australian females to make it to the top in ice hockey.
The achievement is remarkable because, up until just two years ago, Emma had never even been ice-skating, let alone chased a hockey puck around a rink.
Emma will represent Australia at Singapore’s Lion City Cup ice hockey tournament from March 2-8. Last year she tried out for the national women’s team, but missed out on a place. The team will compete in the World Championships in Spain later this month.
After Emma discovered ice-skating in 2014, she immediately enquired about playing ice-hockey and was told it would take at least two years to gain enough skills to qualify for a team. It took her just two months.
But she had one thing in her favour – good ice-hockey genetics. Her great-grandfather William (Bill) Gash was a player with ‘The Pirates’, an Ice Hockey Victoria team. She still has his ice-hockey stick.
Emma also trained hard in the male-dominated sport to make it onto a team, ‘The Bears’. Now with the Melbourne Ice Wolves, she is one of only four females in the entire IHV Bantams’ League and trains at Oakleigh and the O’Brien Group Arena at Docklands.
The forward player said she loved the fast-paced sport, but it did involve the occasional injury.
“It is quite an aggressive sport which is maybe why there are so few females,” she said. “You have to be willing to take a hit.”
“They say you need to have the hands of a surgeon, the quickness of a footy player and the determination of a runner.”
After competing in Singapore, Emma – who is at the College’s Pakenham Campus – will return home then travel to Canberra to represent Victoria.
Some of Emma’s favourite subjects include Sport and Health and Human Development. She is interested in a career as a sports scientist or physiotherapist.
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