Samantha finds her place in hockey team
BALLINA teenager Samantha Brophy thought her ice hockey days were over when her family moved to the Northern Rivers from Canada three years ago.
Fast forward to now and the 15-year-old is aiming to represent Australia at Under-18 level in Spain next year.
She already had family in Ballina and moved from Alberta with her mother Jenifer leaving behind the sport she had played since she was five.
"I lost all hope that I would be able to keep playing and I was quite surprised when we found it here,” Samantha said.
"It took about year before I started but I eventually found a competition in Brisbane.”
She was selected in the Queensland Under-15 team that finished fourth in the national championships at Canberra next month.
Tomorrow she heads to Newcastle for a four-day development camp where she hopes to earn selection into the national team.
"We've been here for a few years now and I would love to be able to represent Australia,” Samantha said. "There are a lot of good players at the camp and I'll be competing against friends and teammates.
"I like playing mixed because it's contact and you nudge people against the wall and it's a bit more physical.
"I'm left handed and I think grass hockey would have been too hard for me to learn with the sticks.”
Brophy plays with the Brisbane Goannas in the Australian Women's Ice Hockey League.
She is one of the younger competitors and finished this season with the Rookie of the Year award.
"I've really enjoyed playing in Queensland and there a few Canadians that are in the league,” Samantha said.
"They really encourage girls to come in and and be part of the competition, too.”