Two Welsh students have joined the Champions Hockey League Media Team in Växjö this week – they tell us their story!
Hi everyone, we are Rachel Jones and Liam Thomas. We are Journalism students from the University of South Wales, but most importantly, we’re massive ice hockey fans.
Our local team are the Cardiff Devils; meaning this was our first experience of the Champions Hockey League and it was a great one. Going into the CHL we didn’t particularly know what to expect, especially playing teams from other European leagues. Neither of us has had the opportunity to watch our team in the CHL prior to this year and therefore haven’t experienced the Final. It’s going to be an adventure for us, putting our journalistic and multimedia skills to the test.
Both of us had a fantastic time watching the Devils play, including beating what proved to be one of the competition's best teams in the Växjö Lakers. While Liam (legally!) streamed the matches during his travels in Scandinavia, I (Rachel) was lucky enough to be the Fan Ambassador for the Devils during their time in the competition, which is something I took great pride in doing. Going behind the scenes was entirely new to me, encouraging me to ask for work experience with the CHL.
Simultaneously being journalists and ice hockey fans helped us to see the CHL as a fantastic organisation to try and get involved with, and after the experience we had previously in the season we decided to contact them to help however we could. In all honesty, we thought it was a long shot and we weren’t expecting a reply let alone the opportunity to work with them. We’ve both been watching hockey for a long time and it’s become part of our lifestyle, as it has for many others.
Most of our journalistic work is based around ice hockey. Our passion led us into setting up a website, along with our friend Dan. We’ve been inspired to try and broadcast the environment of ice hockey around Britain and Europe. Working with the CHL has helped us develop our skills and confidence. We’re hoping by completing work experience with the CHL we can emphasise how much of a fan base Ice Hockey has, and hopefully gain the attention of mainstream media.
Watching Cardiff in the CHL has taught us quite a lot. It’s made us realise how skillful other teams in the tournament are. It’s also given us an insight into the contrast of playing styles on the ice, from refereeing to team dynamics. Despite the downfalls, it’s proved that the British teams can compete against Europe’s finest. Altogether we exceeded the expectations of our critics and feel that we could transfer what we learned this year and apply it to next years tournament should we return.
We’re excited to be part of the team and look forward to our very own CHL experience this week! We hope to represent our country, league and team proudly in Växjö.