Army wife Kerstine Reynolds tells us why ice hockey is the perfect sport for families on a posting to BATUS…

ICE hockey is as popular in Canada as football is in the UK. If you can imagine playing sevens rugby on a five-a-side football pitch whilst balancing on ice skates, you’re half way there.

As an intensive and enjoyable workout, ice hockey is the ideal antidote to the “winter blues” and replaces running for most of us as snow and ice make even walking tricky.

It’s a great stress buster and, given that most of us arrive unable to skate at all, provides a unique opportunity to learn a new skill. We ladies have two teams – the Red and Black Devils – and we play against men’s and civilian teams from the local area.

Our membership comes mainly from British wives, but Canadian wives and serving female soldiers of both nationalities are welcome. Ages range from 17 to late 40s. Children are well catered for too, with two teams known as the Wildcats playing in the local Pond Hockey League. 

It’s a community-orientated sport as our training is overseen by volunteers – in our case two Canadian military personnel. For the children’s teams there’s a good mix of British and locals, military and civilians and single soldiers as well as parents.

In an isolated place like Ralston, hockey brings  people together.

For those unable or not wanting to play there’s still lots to get  involved with, such as scoring, playing of theme tunes and national anthems and jobs at the arena café, The Puck Stop.

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