Ready to take on the world

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Scott Morgan

Libbey-Jean Hay could skate into the record books next month.

The 13-year-old has won a five-day trip to Canada to play in an ice hockey skills tour­na­ment.

She will test her skat­ing, puck han­dling and shoot­ing skills against 27 of the top teenage play­ers from around the world at the Que­bec City tour­na­ment, or­gan­ised by the In­ter­na­tional Ice Hockey Fed­er­a­tion.

“It’s go­ing to be quite chal­leng­ing, but fun,” she says.

Points will be awarded for the level of skill in each dis­ci­pline with the ti­tle go­ing to the best all-round player.

Libbey-Jean went up against sev­eral girls from around the coun­try for the spot and earned enough points to qual­ify by a com­fort­able mar­gin.

The Ep­som res­i­dent started fig­ure skat­ing when she was five but de­cided ice hockey was the sport for her in 2004.

“I’m a de­fender, so I like shut­ting peo­ple down and get­ting the puck off them.”

She says her fig­ure skat­ing gave her an ad­van­tage in hockey.

“I have to skate back­wards to­wards the goal, so it helped a lot.”

Libbey-Jean is un­sure how she will go at the com­pe­ti­tion be­cause it is the first time the tour­na­ment has been held.

How­ever a trip to Canada last year play­ing in a mixed team might give her an edge.

“They have amaz­ing rinks and the level of hockey is so much higher,” she says.

Libbey-Jean’s fa­ther Grant Hay, who is pres­i­dent of the Auck­land Ice Hockey As­so­ci­a­tion, says the com­pe­ti­tion is a “fan­tas­tic” de­vel­op­ment.

“They can com­pare skill lev­els with play­ers from all over the world.”

For more in­for­ma­tion about play­ing ice hockey call 0800 ICE HOCKEY.

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Skater­girl: Libbey-Jean Hay is set to take on the world’s best at a skills com­pe­ti­tion in Canada next month.

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