Ice hockey player makes the cut for US tournament

2017-11-22 06:00
Local ice hockey player, Talithia Deyzel (21). Photo:SUPPLIED

Local ice hockey player, Talithia Deyzel (21). Photo:SUPPLIED

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PORT ELIZABETH-based ice hockey player Talithia Deyzel is set to get an opportunity to go overseas for a chance to see how all things hockey are done on the other parts of the world.

The 21-year-old has been selected as a reserve for the South African team who will be travelling to Bulgaria for the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship Division II Group B Qualification, due to take place from December 4 to December 7.

The young star was spotted during an inter-provincial tournament recently held in Pretoria where the selection of the South African ice hockey team took place.

“It’s a great honour to represent my country in this sport. I have worked hard and now my hard work has finally paid off,” she said, adding that she now has to work even harder as she prepares for the tournament.

“The training sessions are intense.

“I do off-ice shooting and stick handling practice for one to two hours every day. I also try to skate at least once a week during a public session. My training really takes up most of my time, but it is worth the sacrifice.”

Deyzel described that she fell in love with the sport after seeing an NHL game on television, however, due to the fact that there was no ice rink in Port Elizabeth she couldn’t pursue it.

“So, in 2015 when I found out that there would be an ice rink at Baywest Mall, I was very excited to start playing.

“As soon as the rink opened my parents bought me my first pair of skates and thereafter I learnt how to skate.”

Since then she has been playing for the Eastern Province Ice Hockey Association.

“I can’t wait to go overseas. I’m excited to see a new country, but I’m more excited to play ice hockey against some of the best teams in the world.”

Club president Rob Kendrick said, “I feel honoured to know that she has the potential to go far.”

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