UK Forum All Stars Ice Hockey
At the end of July the annual UK Forum All Stars Ice Hockey tournament took place in Sheffield. It was a fantastic introduction to ice hockey for me, with skaters of all abilities taking part in charity tournament. All together the event raised a fantastic £49,100, split between the eight charities that it supports.
This year the weekend kicked off when two cyclists arrived at the Steelers bar in Sheffield. The cyclists had set off from Cardiff earlier in the week, riding via London and then on to Sheffield. They arrived to a huge crowd of hockey players, fans and spectators and the atmosphere was bursting with excitement before the evening quiz and auction.
Wendy and I arrived at the Ice Hockey arena in Sheffield (after a few wrong turns!) at 12 to see the first match of the day. I was a bit unsure of what to expect as I have never seen an Ice Hockey match, but when we entered the arena there was a fantastic buzz.
The first match saw the Dreams Come True team take to the ice. I was overwhelmed at the speed of the players on the ice, but was soon cheering on the Dream team. After the first match, which the Dream Team won 2-1, we went down to meet the team and provide them with some small tokens from the charity - t-shirts, pin badges and biscuits! The team were thrilled about the bags, although I think it was mostly the biscuits they were after.
Michael Walker from the Dream Team said: “Was proud to represent Dreams Come True – I hope we did you proud! Also, the goody bags were amazing!”
As the day went on I witnessed a great atmosphere and the teams worked well with each other. There was a great sense that this was a charity event and although it was competitive there was a great feeling of camaraderie between the teams.
At the end of the day the Dream Team had played 4 matches, winning 2, drawing 1 and losing 1, which left us eagerly awaiting day two.
After a well earned night’s rest we met up with the team for breakfast and then headed off to the arena. From early on it was clear that all the teams had upped their game with the final in sight.
Dreams Come True successfully won their crucial final match to secure a place in the third place playoff. We went down to the changing room to congratulate them on their victory. The changing room was buzzing and the team ecstatic.
As the play off started Wendy and I were cheering like crazy for the team. However they were just edged out over the twenty minutes and finished a very respectable fourth out of eight teams.
I wasn’t sure what to expect with this event, but after the weekend I am looking forward to next year's tournament in Cardiff. The Dreams team were a fantastic group of people who played extraordinary well for the charity and had a great relationship as a team. We are honoured that they represented the charity and hope we see them next year in the Dream Team.
Author: Claire Smith
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