Q-town pals chosen for Ice Fernz team
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.
Bike’vember coordinator Jo Guest, left, and Queenstown Lakes councillor Ella Lawton in Wanaka’s Ardmore Street.