BAY ROBERTS, N.L. — From the studio to the rink, one group of girls took on a personal challenge for themselves at a recent ball hockey tournament.
The 2018 Light the Lamp tournament was hosted last month in Bay Roberts, and saw thousands of people come to the community for the weekend-long event to participate and spectate the massive tournament, many of whom were cheering on teams hailing from their hometowns.
Communities from across the province, such as Marystown and Grand Falls-Windsor had teams travel to Bay Roberts to take part, with hundreds of games taking place between 126 different teams.
While hometown pride or a passion for hockey were likely the motivation behind many of the teams seen playing over the weekend, one team has a bit of a different story behind the jerseys.
The Galaxy Girls are a nine-person team hailing from the Conception Bay North area. Their decision to take part in Light the Lamp this year came as a bit of a personal challenge, as the majority of the group have never played hockey competitively, and instead prefer the feeling of dancing shoes as opposed to hockey sticks and sneakers.
Of the nine girls, only one – Kayleigh Flynn – is used to the feeling of a hockey stick in her hands, as she had just completed her first year in Bay Arena Minor Hockey. Flynn, alongside teammates Grace Young, Rebecca Tuttle, Clair MacDougall, Kaydence Brown, Julianna Boone, Bridget Franey, Jenna Butler and Lily Mercer, are all dancers at Catherine’s Dance Studio in Bay Roberts. The decision to make the step from the studio to the rink came as something of a personal challenge for the girls, and one they’re glad they took on.
The Galaxy Girls spoke with The Compass about the team and their experience at Light the Lamp.
“We’re all friends, and we just decided to make a team and try it out,” said Bridget, who spent her time at Light the Lamp in goalie gear for the Galaxy Girls.
While Bridget said she initially heard about the tournament from her father, Dean, many of the other girls said they first caught wind of the event from Kayleigh.
“We thought it would be fun,” Bridget added.
While they all agreed the transition from dance to ball hockey was a big step, they told The Compass the opportunity to try something new was exciting, and the feeling of scoring a goal was something they won’t soon forget.
“Playing in the rink was pretty fun – playing against other people was pretty cool, but I really liked just getting to hang out and meet new people” said Grace. “At first, we weren’t scoring any goals, but when we did, everyone started cheering, and that felt really good. I almost lost my voice.”
This year’s Light the Lamp tournament was the first of many for the future of Bay Roberts, with planning already going ahead for the 2019 event. Likewise, 2018 will not be the only year the Galaxy Girls make an appearance, as the team cheered excitedly when asked if they would be setting foot back into the rink next year.
Next year though the girls are looking at changing their team name, hoping to incorporate their dance backgrounds into it next time.