At six years old, Ollie Hemmings-Maher is one of the youngest players in the team, but he doesn’t let his age affect his commitment to the game or his stamina in matches and training. Ollie first started skating at aged four when his family were living in the US. It was clear that he was a natural on the ice and he quickly progressed to hockey skating. When his family moved to Hampshire, his mum Selene took him to skate at Basingstoke and his talent in skating attracted the attention of Basingstoke Bisons ice-hockey team. Ollie was then encouraged to join a series of month-long training sessions before being offered a place on the U10 team.
Ollie started playing for the Bisons last year and since then has travelled with his mum and dad to matches across the South East, including longer distances such as Cardiff. To develop his skills, he trains twice a week for an hour at a time and thoroughly enjoys his time on the ice. To date this season, Ollie’s team have won against Swindon U10s 3-2 and Guildford U10s 5-2.
Commenting on Ollie’s achievements, his mother, Selene Maher, said, “He enjoys ice-hockey so much and when he returns to school after Sunday’s match, he loves taking in his medal or trophy to show to teachers and friends. Ollie is very good at ensuring he gets all of his homework done too and he seems to take school-work and ice-hockey training all in his stride, it helps that the school are so supportive of him.”
Head of Dunannie, Jo Webbern adds, “We always look forward to hearing the latest news from Ollie and his ice-hockey team. It is amazing that someone so young is doing so well in a sport that is technically very difficult and also quite physically demanding. We love seeing pictures of Ollie in all his gear – he is a real inspiration to all of us. The concept of the ‘spirit of the game’ is something we like to reflect here at Dunannie in encouraging children to do their very best and to enjoy their learning.”