Written by Kat Birch
Ketziah Robinson is a second-year student at the University of Hull. She studies Sports Therapy and balances her studies alongside playing for several ice hockey teams, including the UoH Ice Hogs. She now competes at the highest level for women’s ice hockey, playing for the elite teams; Kingston Diamonds (premier and elite). Robinson has been selected to represent team GB at the upcoming university Winter Olympic Games at Lake Placid, USA.
I got the opportunity to speak to Robinson (known as ‘Ketz’ by her friends) about her ice hockey career, her inspirations, the difficulties female athletes face, and what representing team GB means to her.
KB: Tell us about how it all started, how did you get into ice hockey?
KR: My brother used to play roller hockey and was asked to play ice hockey. After watching a game at age 7, I decided that I wanted to play too. Ironically my brother doesn’t play anymore.
KB: Who were your sporting inspirations growing up?
KR: Sydney Crosby and Amanda Kessel. Amanda made a massive difference in women’s hockey in the USA and was the first woman to take part in the NHL all-star competition. Crosby I’ve always watched and supported since a little child, everything he does is just amazing, and his training routines are amazing as well.
KB: What was the process in the run up to the selection?
KR: We had monthly training/trials and workouts we had to complete. This included a GB workout plan and travelling to Sheffield to take part in the trials.
KB: What challenges have you faced as a female athlete?
KR: I was always overlooked whilst playing mixed gender hockey from both coaches and other male players. Women’s teams get given the late training slots. Women also can’t go professional in England. Overall, we just have less opportunities.
KB: What does it mean to you to be able to represent team GB?
KR: It means the world to me; it’s always been a dream of mine. Finally being given the opportunity to prove to everyone who turned their heads on me that I can play hockey to elite standards even though I’m a woman.
KB: What happens after selection? Talk us through the preparation for the Winter Games.
KR: We train once a month; we currently have 3 training sessions before we depart for Lake Placid. We also play some games in preparation. I also train once a week with Diamonds and once a week with Hogs. I’m also still completing the GB workouts from my coaches 4 times a week. I have 12 games from now until Christmas break – it’s a lot but I love it.
Ketziah has set up a GoFundMe page to help fundraise some of the costs for the Winter Olympics – you can help support her here:
Photo Credit: Jo Cockerton