Meet Sarah Sullivan, an avid Para Ice Hockey player
Para-Ice Hockey is so much more than an adrenaline-filled sport – for some players, it is a way of life.
Sarah Sullivan has been an avid Para Ice Hockey player for a year, experiencing the exhilaration of the sport first hand. Although a self-confessed “non-sporty individual”, Sarah has immersed herself into everything the sport has to offer.
The interest and the fun came as a surprise to her, after participating in a come and try session.
“Before playing Para Ice hockey, I didn’t know much about it. I wasn’t aware of all the different sports that were out there for people with a disability.”
Sarah went to her first come and try session in December 2017, and from there on there was no stopping her.
“It’s such a positive environment to be in. It provides you with a real sense of community and sense of purpose.”
The past year has been chock-a-block for Sarah, representing Australia in the Women’s Para Ice Hockey World Cup in Ostrava.
As the only Australian representative there, the rest of the team was made of players from elite and emerging nations. For Sarah, this reiterated the kind of support and positive environment that para-ice hockey embodied.
“When you are with friends, it becomes more than a sport. You feel part of a team.”
During the world cup, players from emerging nations participated in an intensive development camp, with best coaches and mentors. This helped Sarah gain knowledge of the sport and get an “experience of the lifetime”.
“I left Ostrava feeling for the first time in a long time that I had accomplished something. I had a sense of purpose. That is something that had been missing in my life prior to participating in sport, especially being a person with a disability and chronic illness.”
Beyond physical well-being
Participating in the sport has helped Sarah mentally, helping her break various barriers, make new friends, and share similar experiences.
“It’s such a fun and safe environment. it is fast paced and exhilarating. But take a chance, sample at a come and try day. It truly enhances your life socially and emotionally.”