Today, a big chance of pace as we hear from a skater who spends her time on the Bradbury Rink, not the Henke. Yes, a figure skater joins this crazy blog. She’s got a name that should be a hockey team, and she does all those figure skating moves without frickin’ armour. Full respect from this skater. Introducing Winifred Beevers …
The figure skater on L-plates
By Winifred Beevers
I came to hockey via ice-skating.
I grew up mostly in Queensland where roller skating and large shoulder pads ruled – it was the 80’s. My mother would not allow me to go skating as she’d heard stories about the panel vans in the car park. I came to Melbourne to do a music degree. Fast forward to 2011 and I take the kids to the Icehouse one school holidays. To my astonishment my kids fell constantly whereas I didn’t. I’m amazed that I can even go forwards when I want. I start wondering if this is something I can do.
I sign up for Adult 1 lessons and immediately stand out as the person most likely to fall. I spend weeks choosing and buying skates over the internet. My hands are important to me. I buy wrist guards and graduate to Adult 2.
Soon after beginning lessons I venture onto public ice in a morning session. There were three people skating: me, and two guys. One is Bill, Icehouse’s resident “legendary old dude”. The other is some guy in hockey skates, also feeling his way. I practice going around one of the circles – forwards – and we smack into each other. We grab each other by the shoulders, freakily stay upright and start spinning. I WISH I could do this intentionally.
I am finally doing backward crossovers and occasionally doing mohawks. The coaches have all been unfailingly friendly and encouraging. I still fall often, resulting in one episode of mild concussion. I now wear an Ice Halo. My next purchase will be pants with hip and coccyx protectors.
I really enjoy the time in a new world, with my new skating buddies from classes. I love watching the hockey guys pivoting so easily and really wish I could do a spectacular hockey stop. Actually just stopping intentionally would be nice.
Recently I was on freshly sharpened blades. During class warm up I was zigging across the ice just loving the speed and the sensation of flying. It was sooo good! Suddenly realised that I couldn’t stop and then I did. Full body and face slam into the glass and boards of the Henke rink. I leave an impression of my nose and chin in the glass. No concussion this time (Ice Halo works!) just bruised knees, nose and chin. My family and classmates cheekily suggest swapping to hockey just for the protective gear.
Speaking of hockey – my family wanted to see something on ice. I figure hockey is a good start. Any competition where Australia is up against New Zealand is always going to be a good spectator experience. Bring on the Trans Tasman Cup.
Melbourne Ice vs. Southern Stampede. It is a pushover for Ice. We have a ball trying to work out the rules, loving the fights with boundaries and the speed of the game. I’ve always enjoyed the rugby, this is rugby on ice! The musician in me wishes they had live music and lyrics on the big screen for the respective anthems. Next time call the Vic Police band, or the defense force bands. Hey, even one of the community brass bands would do a terrific job. I’d also love to see the Haka performed on ice…
The next day– my scholarly and tech savvy husband having had a blast decided to stream the last match on our large TV. We’ve now watched several AIHL matches via the web AND we’re subscribing to the streaming thingy from the NHL.
The only real question is – which team?
Yes – Melbourne Ice, almost without question. I don’t have the necessary faith to love a team that wins rarely as opposed to often… But the NHL ones? I appreciate Nicko’s philosophy of supporting the team with the best logo. RedWings’ is a stand out for visual design. I’m a music therapist. I want a team with a song with great lyrics that I can easily learn and play. Melbourne Storm had a winner in Chumbawumba’s ‘Tubthumping’. Wish they’d kept it. I want a song that is easy to sing, not one with a chord riff and intro I’ll never replicate.
Postscript – Saw a guy at Icehouse wearing a shirt with a blue music note! St Louis Blues with a song that is suitably daggy …