The women’s hockey team is back in business
After a long summer break, the women’s hockey team is showing the community how it’s done
McMaster University has seen success in many different sports and now, one more sport is making the lunge towards success. The McMaster’s women's hockey team is currently in their second successive season on a mission to finally join the OUA.
Last year the team spoke to the Silhouette about the funding they receive from the university and how it is not possible for them to secure a very large budget due to the team not officially representing McMaster on a larger scale in Ontario. However, this year the team is more optimistic and is excited to get back on ice.
“I am extremely excited to get back into the hockey mood this year, especially after navigating how to plan and play out our season with COVID-19 regulations last year. We have been planning and preparing since May and everyone at the club has been in consistent contact with each other to make this season a success,” said Natasia Kurysko, a team veteran, now in her fourth year at McMaster.
This season the team has also gained popularity through their consistent efforts at to better publicise the team on campus. As part of this, the team was recently at Clubsfest in front of the Burke Science Building, where students could visit them and learn about their tryouts for the new season.
“Our success at Clubsfest led to a successful turnout at our information session and we are expecting a whopping 40-45 tryout participants this week. We have been working so hard to promote our team via social media and word of mouth. Honestly, I never really miss an opportunity to talk about the team to anyone,” explained Kurysko.
Although the team is still not a part of the OUA, they will still have a remarkably busy season ahead of them.
“We will have a 16-game season. This may be increased to a 24-game season, depending on what the teams in our loop vote on doing, as one team just dropped out. Our weekly schedule remains consistent every year; one team workout with the strength and practice and one to two games. Once the tryouts are complete, we are going to move straight to practices and workouts in the week of Oct 2. After all our preparation is done, our games are scheduled to begin the week after reading week,” explained Kurysko.
Not only is the team putting all their efforts into preparing for the season, but they have also shown their professionalism off the ice too. Team members can often be found out in the community, looking to support others off the ice as well.
“One thing that is extremely exciting this year is that we will be back volunteering with Skate the Dream, which will be run by our very own Megan Neufeld! Skate the Dream is a program run by the children club of Hamilton that gives underprivileged youth an opportunity to learn how to skate. Three to four of us from the team go out to sessions run two to three times a week and teach kids how to skate,” explained Kurysko.
McMaster’s women’s hockey team is not just your ordinary varsity team and while they may not be an official part of the OUA yet, their effort at expanding, helping the community and making sure everyone feels welcome on their team certainly makes them one of the most respected teams at the university to anyone who knows about them.