SouthlandSport editor Nathan Burdon

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Ice Fernz dream postponed for Academy Southland's Beth Scott

Ice Fernz dream postponed for Academy Southland's Beth Scott

An opportunity to improve her game overseas has seen ice hockey player Beth Scott postpone her dream of playing for the New Zealand women’s team. 

The Year 13 Menzies College student and second year Academy Southland athlete will attend a week-long elite camp in Canada next month. 

While she was excited to take up the invitation along with three other New Zealand players, it has also meant temporarily turning down the chance to make her debut at senior level with the Ice Fernz. 

“I had the opportunity to be in the New Zealand Ice Fernz, but I had already sorted going to this camp,” Scott said. 

“I thought I would be better off developing my skills more and then trying out for other teams in New Zealand. I’m really looking forward to developing my skills more with hockey. It’s quite limited in New Zealand, the things you can go to and do. It will be really interesting to get more coaching pointers and stuff from people who live and breathe it.” 

Beth drew the attention of the Canadian organisers at a camp in Queenstown, and they suggested she would benefit from the women’s elite camp in Port Alberni, British Columbia. 

Beth plays as a forward, either at wing or centre, and is a goal scorer. 

She first tried her hand at the game at the age of nine. 

“I’d done a little bit of ice skating beforehand, just learning how to skate and I really enjoyed it,” she said. 

“My brother and Dad started playing and I’d have to go to the rink and watch them. I thought if I had to go anyway, I may as well play, rather than sit on the sideline.” 

Beth was first selected in the New Zealand under 18 team in 2014 and since then has travelled to Melbourne, Thailand and Malaysia with the team. 

“It’s great to go and experience all the different cultures and just see how different the way of life is, as well as the hockey,” she said. 

The 17-year-old is contemplating going to Otago University next year, where she would be able to continue her hockey at the Dunedin rink and continue chasing her dream of playing for New Zealand at senior level. 

Beth is one of three Eastern Southland sportspeople currently involved in Academy Southland through the support of the Mataura Licensing Trust, with bowler Sheldon Bagrie-Howley in his foundation year with the Academy, and swimming coach Mariano Nani in his second year of the coach programme. 

Academy Southland provides support in areas including mental skills, nutrition, athlete life and strength and conditioning to ensure Southland athletes are equipped to perform on the national and international stage. 

MLT chief executive Mark Paterson said the community funder was pleased to recently extend its support for Academy Southland. 

“We are pretty proud of our athletes and coaches in the programme, and we are really happy that there is a pathway for them.” 

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