Ju­niors mak­ing a splash

Cockburn Gazette - - SPORT -

cham­pi­onship, get a bit of mo­men­tum build­ing and hope­fully we can go bet­ter this year and win the cham­pi­onship.”

Ex­pec­ta­tions are high for the Heat, who fin­ished sec­ond to Bris­bane last sea­son off the back of a 26-14 record, be­fore they fell to Can­berra in the best-ofthree pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal. A SURGE in ice hockey’s pop­u­lar­ity has seen a WA women’s team en­tered into the na­tional com­pe­ti­tion for the first time.

Based at Cockburn Ice Arena, the Perth In­ferno started their in­au­gu­ral 12match Aus­tralian Women’s Ice Hockey League sea­son with two away game wins against Ade­laide on Novem­ber 10 and 11.

Perth In­ferno coach Paul Gra­ham said with 23 tal­ented play­ers, in­clud­ing 13-year-old young gun Nikki Sharp and US im­port El­iz­a­beth Scala, his team had the po­ten­tial to fin­ish in the top three. YOUNG fe­male water polo play­ers in Cockburn are mak­ing quite a splash in the sport.

The Water Polo WA ju­nior com­pe­ti­tion sea­son is only four games in but Cockburn Ju­nior Water Polo Club’s Un­der-14 B girls are on a roll, sit­ting com­fort­ably in the top half of the lad­der.

After a nail-bit­ing 10-9 loss to North Coast Phoenix in game 1, the girls have dom­i­nated their next three matches, beat­ing Melville (17-0), UWA City Beach (124) and Phan­toms (15-2).

Club pres­i­dent and team coach Natalie Turner said the club was only a few years old, which made the re­sults even sweeter.

“We are a new club with some ded­i­cated young­sters who have been work­ing to­gether for more than a year now,” she said.

“The team is spear­headed by scor­ing sen­sa­tion Tina Cavka, who has ac­cu­mu­lated a stag­ger­ing 20

“Hav­ing a team in the na­tional com­pe­ti­tion gives WA play­ers a clear path­way to the na­tional team for the first time,” he said.

“Every sportsper­son dreams of rep­re­sent­ing their coun­try and now WA’s fe­male ice hockey play­ers have an op­por­tu­nity to do that.

“It also opens up other op­por­tu­ni­ties for play­ers that they have not had be­fore. For ex­am­ple, 13-yearold Nikki Sharp, who will com­pete in the AWIHL in De­cem­ber once she turns 14, is aim­ing to use this op­por­tu­nity to ac­cess a schol­ar­ship into the US high school sys­tem.”

For­rest­field scrap metal goals, in­clud­ing 12 in one match, and the ex­cel­lent goal­keep­ing skills of Mia Tigchelaar.

“While these two have made a huge im­pact, it is the gen­eral team­work of the whole team that has made us a stand­out side.

“It’s good that other clubs are stand­ing up and tak­ing no­tice of us. busi­ness C. D. Dodd has thrown its sup­port be­hind both the WA men and women’s ice hockey teams as a ma­jor spon­sor.

Gra­ham said the sup­port of lo­cal busi­nesses was vi­tal to a team like his.

“C. D. Dodd’s sup­port means we can af­ford luxuries such as a team uni­form for trav­el­ling,” he said.

“Team mem­bers want to be as pro­fes­sional as they can and C. D. Dodd com­ing on board al­lows them to do that while also eas­ing their fi­nan­cial bur­den.”

Perth In­ferno’s first home games will be against Syd­ney on Novem­ber 24 and 25 at Cockburn Ice Arena.

“We have a hand­ful of se­niors play­ing on loan to other clubs, while this is the only team play­ing un­der our ban­ner.

“Our ju­niors train on a Fri­day night and the whole club gets to­gether on Sun­day morn­ing at Cockburn ARC.

“It’s the start of great things for the club.”

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