North Star Sirens Captain Kaylee White is one of the most determined players in the Australian Women’s Ice Hockey League. Craig Tonks found out a bit more about the Sirens on ice leader.
Craig Tonks :: When did you start playing ice hockey?
Kaylee White :: I started playing when I was 15. I was playing In-line Hockey and all the girls on my team played Ice Hockey and they kept asking me to come and play Ice. I have never looked back. I can probably thank Miri Hamilton-Yates for me playing Ice Hockey
CT :: What do you love about the sport?
KW :: The speed of the game, the skill that it requires to be a good hockey player, the challenge. I also love the social side of it. Now that I have 2 son’s (Jordan and Cooper) I don’t have much time for a social life so playing sport gives me that social outlet that is important for any mum. I love spending time with the girls on my teams.
CT :: What was your journey through the junior ranks?
KW :: Well I started when I was 15 so I never really played junior hockey. I have always played in the women’s teams.
CT :: Is there anyone who has been a major influence on your career
KW :: There are many people but firstly my parents Anna and Peter Reitsma, who always drove me to games and trainings, cheered me on and paid for my Hockey trips when I was younger. They always supported me and I would not have been able to play the sport without them. So it’s a huge thanks to them.
Secondly, my husband Peter White, who has also been a coach of mine and always supported me playing hockey. It’s actually harder than people would think for a mum to play hockey. You really need the support of you family and friends. I have often received comments that made me feel like a I am a bad mother because I play sport and rely on my family to help care for the boys when I am away on hockey trips. I thank my husband and family for helping to take care of the boys and always supporting me and the sport.
Thirdly, the coaches that I really think shaped the player that I am today for example Kathy Burg and Mark Stephenson.
Finally, all the other people who have supported me either by sponsoring me or just coming to a game to cheer on the team or myself personally. I really appreciate all the support I have been given over the years. I don’t think I would have played for as long as I have without all these people….You all know who you are.
CT :: Is there anyone that you have enjoyed playing hockey with over the years?
KW :: Players that I love or loved playing with such as: Miri Hamilton-Yates, Becc Jalleh, Amelia Matherson, Ash Brown, Rachael White, Sharna Godfrey, Amanda Fenton, Steph Boxall, Mel Rulli, Traci Cummings, Mellissa Bibby and so many more. I really feel blessed with all the wonderful girls I have been able to meet and play Ice Hockey with.
CT :: What has been your own career highlight?
KW :: Winning gold at the 2003 World Championships Div3 and being awarded best Defence of the tournament. A definite highlight is being the Captain of the Australian Team in 2008, 2011
CT :: Is it important to put back into the sport?
KW :: Yes, this is very important to me. Just last year I was chosen by our association to go over to the IIHF 2012 Development Camp held in Finland as a coach. I learnt so much and had such an amazing time. Once I finish playing hockey I intend to coach women’s hockey in Australia. I was assistant coach of the Penrith women’s team this year and I really enjoy giving back to the sport and helping the younger players work on their game. I also assisted in running the IIHF 2012 come and try day for girls at Liverpool. It was so wonderful to see so many girls come out and give it a go. I had the best day with all those girls. I hope I get to see some of them on the ice this year.
CT :: Who is your favourite hockey player to watch?
KW :: I actually enjoy playing hockey much more than watching it. If I had to pick one I would have to say Miri Hamilton-Yates. She was my idol as a kid and I always wanted to be as good as her some day.
CT :: What are your goals for this season?
KW :: I want to keep working on my fitness and improve my game on the ice. My goals for the Sirens is to be in the Grand Final..
CT :: Lastly do you have any advice for young girls out there striving to make it to the AWIHL?
KW :: Work hard and don’t ever give up.
by Craig Tonks
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