Two of Gore Grizzlies’ youngest ice hockey players are off to Canada after being selected by a Brisbane ice hockey team.
Finn Hellyer-Waihape (12) and Jaxson Turnbull (13) will join the Brisbane Cyclones under-13 team as it travels through Toronto for three weeks this month.
They were selected after playing in an international tournament for the Otago Thunder under-15 development team last year.
They were notified in December they had been selected alongside three other players, from Dunedin and Tekapo.
“I’m really excited to be involved in the team,” Finn said.
“This will be my first big tournament so it’ll be good,” Jaxson said.
During the three weeks, the boys would be involved in a rigorous training session on and off the ice as well as playing games.
“It will be a new challenge and a big adjustment but I’m really looking forward to having a new experience,” Finn said.
He was aware the style of ice hockey in Canada would differ from what he was used to in New Zealand.
“They play hitting and checking over there so that will be quite different and a challenge.”
Both Finn and Jaxson said the tournament would allow them to improve their craft.
“I’ll learn a lot from going over there,” Jaxson said.
“There will be so much to learn while we are over there, so that’ll be cool,” Finn said.
While in Canada, the pair would get the opportunity to see NHL ice hockey games, the Hockey Hall of Fame and Niagara Falls.
“I’m excited about travelling around to see Niagara Falls,” Finn said.
Both Finn and Jaxson had been playing ice hockey for the past four years, after family members convinced them to play.
It had turned into their passion and was the main sport both boys played.
The MLT gave Finn $750 to go towards the expense of his trip.