Ice Hockey Star
At just 16 years old, Lily (Year 11) has been selected to compete for Australia in the National Women’s team in the upcoming World Championships in Turkey, in April.
It is a remarkable achievement for someone so young, driven by Lily’s dedication and passion for her sport.
Lily discovered a love for ice hockey at age seven when her family was living in the United States. Despite their move back to Australia where the sport is not widely supported or understood, Lily maintained her passion for the sport.
In 2022, she helped Australia win a bronze at the International Ice Hockey Federation U18 Women’s World Championships Division II tournament in Istanbul. The competition featured nine countries including the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The bronze medal was a surprise for the Australian ice hockey community – the first time an Australian team had ever achieved such a feat.
The success helped the team achieve the remarkable feat of qualifying for Division 1B at the 2024 Ice Hockey World Championships in Spain, in January, the highest level at which any Australian ice hockey team has ever played. The achievement was made more significant by the fact that several Australian team members live and play overseas. “The international teams we face have a definite advantage as they train together throughout the year,” Lily explained.
“We were so nervous before the competition, out of fear that we wouldn’t win a game and would be relegated straight away!” Lily said. “Our preparations were supported by the chance to train as a team at the AIS European Training Camp in Italy. It was exciting because Italy offered to play a friendly with us and we performed quite well. This helped our mental preparation as we began to have a stronger belief in our potential.”
The team’s first official game against the strong Norwegian ice hockey team proved a challenging start. Despite the loss, their playing was strong and fast and the match taught them valuable lessons that would help them in upcoming games. “Throughout the tournament, we didn’t stop trying and supported each other to build up the morale of the team,” Lily said.
In the match against Chinese Taipei, Lily’s hard work paid off as she received the Most Valuable Player award. “We had a big Aussie support group of parents who all travelled to see us, including my mum, dad, my sister and my granddad,” she said. “It felt great to have our hard work noticed. Playing against passionate and skilled players always inspires me to grow my hockey skills and work on areas I could improve.”
During the competition, the U18 Australian Women’s team was the first in Australian ice hockey history to win a Division 1B game. By coming fourth overall, they retained their place in the division and will head back to the U18 World Championships in January next year.
“That will be my last opportunity to play in the Under 18’s team,” Lily said. “It will be an extra special tournament for me.”
Now, as a fledgling member of the National Australian Women’s team, Lily aims to continue to propel Australian ice hockey as far as possible. “Together with my fellow team members, I am determined to continue to reach high for Australia’s place in the world of ice hockey!” she said.