AMANZIMTOTI ice hockey star, Jared Igesund (15) has been selected for the U18 South African ice hockey team which will tour to New Zealand this year.
The grade 10 pupil at Westville Boys High is now in search of donations to make his dream of competing and representing his country abroad, a reality.
The Durban Rays Ice Hockey Club player learnt to ice skate at Galleria Mall some eight years ago, on the then-plastic surface.
“On his second skating session on the ice, a woman who was watching suggested he sign up for Southern Storm Ice Hockey Club, which was starting out,” explained mother Tracey Igesund. “I was not keen, as I believed ice hockey to be dangerous since all I knew was what I had seen in movies. But she reassured me it was nothing like that and there were strict rules in place.”
Jared joined Southern Storm and was one of the youngest players. He used rented skates until he bought his first pair secondhand. “He was only nine-years-old and he and a little boy Ollie (7), played with the seniors. They could easily slip in-between them since they were less than half their size and managed to trip some of them up,” said Tracey.
She said that playing with the seniors gave Jared great experience, as when he started playing with boys his size some five years later, he excelled.
At the age of 12, Jared was invited to play for Northern Gauteng in his first inter-provincial tournament, as KZN had too few players to constitute a team. He shone, and was awarded the most valuable player title and his team won gold.
Last year, Jared and two of his team mates, Luca and Clayton Meyer were invited to play for Western Province in Cape Town, taking gold and silver medals in their age group. His greatest achievement remains being selected for the SA squad after trials last October.
Jared trains twice a week at Durban Ice Rink and sometimes at Galleria Ice Rink.
The athlete’s loves for the sport stems from the fact that it’s fast and requires technique and skill to get around his opposition. However, he admitted that the heavy bag he has to lug around after a hectic training or game isn’t his favourite aspect.
“My mom hates the smell of my kit, but luckily she has some kind of ‘secret potion’ to get the stink out,” he said.
Jared’s upcoming tour to New Zealand will be a 10 day trip, consisting of a weekend tournament against Hong Kong and New Zealand teams. The boys will have some time to do sightseeing between the games and scheduled practises.
This will be the hockey player’s first trip abroad and he is nervous and excited about it.
It does however come at a hefty cost. Jared’s family appeals to the community for any support or donations. The Gus Brown Band hosted a local fundraiser at the Warner Beach Ski Boat Club a few weeks ago, where R5,000 was raised.
“We are very grateful to the community for its support,” said Tracey.
About R28,000 is needed to cover his flights, accommodation and uniform. SA Ice Hockey has issued a sponsorship request letter, where sponsors can choose to sponsor the entire team or allocate the funds to an individual player by inserting the player’s name as the reference. Anyone who can assist is asked to call Tracey on 078-842-7919 or email [email protected]
Jared thanked his coaches Lee Jones and Dan dos Reis of Durban Rays and his first coach Kieren Edge for all their support over the years.
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