Hello everyone my name is James Kim and I would like to share my experiences as a hockey athlete during my years playing the sport.
I have Muscular Dystrophy and discovered electric wheelchair hockey in 2004, I actually started to play all wheelchair sports this year and at the local stadium I was introduced to hockey one afternoon. I had no idea about the sport as I was new to it and was unaware of the rules.
I remember the first team I joined was Blue Wheelers and it was only for a few games. One of my first instructions in the game was make blocks on players and to place myself in open areas near the shooting circle.
My next memory would have to include a newly formed team by one of the volunteers who is now an official referee.
He coached a team named Red Flames, I believe this is a year of growth and maturity for myself as a player. My main role would have been defence, I was hesitant to play this role but now when I look back, it was definitely a learning curve.
In the next few seasons team changes were made to help improve the competition, during this time I had the privilege to play with international representatives and top players who helped improve my game. I developed more friendships by this time and was able to be mentored by several players who had knowledge of the game.
After I gained confidence I slowly transitioned from a defensive player to attacking, when players were absent, I then had to somehow try to step out of my comfort zone. Dribbling was an area I was never confident with, I watched other players perform and attempted to replicate abilities and gain tips.
After many games of practice as a playmaker it helped me improve and I was able to participate in various grand final games.
It is a great opportunity to play in finals as the game intensity rises and appearing in these games mean a lot as they prove how well you do as a player, although I have yet to win a grand final in electric wheelchair hockey I always take to heart the memories I have with my teams and friends.
My dream is to hopefully one day represent Australia when the opportunity arises and hopes to win a championship at competition level.
BY: JAMES KIM