ICE BANDIT: Canada's Ben Warden has been in Australia for two years and the 13-year-old is a state level representative in ice hockey.
ICE BANDIT: Canada's Ben Warden has been in Australia for two years and the 13-year-old is a state level representative in ice hockey. Sam Flanagan

NOT PUCKING KIDDING: Ice hockey eyes off second coming

ICE HOCKEY: A sport which once flourished on the Coffs Coast is ready to awaken from its slumber and provide a breeding ground for budding superstars.

Ice hockey arrived in Coffs Harbour in 1999 when the ice rink was built at The Big Banana.

In the ensuing years a fully fledged league of four teams was born, one which thrived in the region for more than a decade. With the competition having been defunct for some years now, a hard working committee have made it their goal to breathe life back into the sport.

Coffs Coast Ice Hockey Club board member Gav McPherson said the rebirth of the game in the region was just around the corner.

"When I came here a few years ago it was down to a scrimmage. We'd put a message out and guys would come and we'd play once every few weeks,” Gav said.

"We've been slowly recruiting more and more people.

"Now we're probably at 30-40 people and running pretty regularly.”

Gav said a new committee had been assembled and the club was recently incorporated. Now they just need the numbers.

"People that live here don't even know we have an ice rink here let alone play ice hockey,” he said.

"We're at a point now where we're trying to attract new players and give a pathway into the sport. We'd love to get a league going again.

"Holding regular tournaments where people from Brisbane and Newcastle come to play is a goal.”

The club is also passionate about junior development. They want to pick up the 10-12 year olds who aren't interested in rugby, football and netball.

"By the time they're 14 or 15 they'll be really skilled and can go away and compete at a high level,” Gav said.

The club already boasts a highly credentialled junior, with 13-year-old Ben Warden a Queensland representative. The club is holding come-and- try days in the near future. For more information visit the Coffs Harbour Ice Hockey Club Facebook page.



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