Q-town pals cho­sen for Ice Fernz team

Central Otago Mirror - - SPORT - DASHA KU­PRIENKO

Wakatipu High School stu­dent Hope Gre­gory will rep­re­sent New Zealand in se­nior ice hockey next year.

It is the sec­ond time the 16-year-old has been se­lected for the Ice Fernz.

Gre­gory will soon travel to Canada, where she will play for a team in Toronto for two months in the lead up to the In­ter­na­tional Ice Hockey Fed­er­a­tion women’s cham­pi­onship in Ice­land from Fe­bru­ary 27 to March 5.

Last year she was one of the top five girls in the Ice Fernz, play­ing in the front line of the team.

‘‘I was happy. It’s a good group of girls too,’’ she said.

The aim of this sea­son was to come back home with gold, Gre­gory said.

An­other Queen­stown lo­cal, Rikki-Lee Mclean, made the cut to the Ice Fernz but was se­lected as one of eight non-trav­el­ling re­serves.

She had been train­ing for two years and was not plan­ning on ap­ply­ing, but Gre­gory’s mother ’’made her do it’’.

‘‘I didn’t re­ally want to [ap­ply]. But the worst thing they are gonna say is ‘no’ so why not?’’ she said.

How­ever, next year she was aim­ing to get into the main di­vi­sion and would carry on with more train­ing in the mean­time.

Kath Gre­gory said she was very ex­cited for her daugh­ter.

‘‘To be able to go and play in Canada is an hon­our,’’ she said.

Gre­gory would be the third youngest in the na­tional team this year. Queen­stown Ice Hockey Club pres­i­dent Andy Mills said he was very proud of her.

‘‘She’s a fan­tas­tic player off and on the ice. She’s a great ex­am­ple and a role model,’’ he said.

Mills hoped see­ing women ice hockey play­ers suc­ceed would make the sport more pop­u­lar.

‘‘They are go­ing pretty amaz­ing places,’’ he said.

MAR­JORIE COOK

Bike’vem­ber co­or­di­na­tor Jo Guest, left, and Queen­stown Lakes coun­cil­lor Ella Law­ton in Wanaka’s Ard­more Street.

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