By Jessica Howard
Bacchus Marsh may not have an ice rink, but that doesn’t stop young Connor Sidari-Alley from excelling at ice hockey.
The 13-year-old Bacchus Marsh College student wakes at 7am on Saturdays and 3:30am on Sundays to travel to the Olympic Ice Skating Centre in Oakleigh.
During the week, he trains at Ziggys Gym in Maddingley for off-ice fitness.
Connor’s dedication to the sport has led to his selection in the Victorian Ice Hockey Team, which will compete in the upcoming Ginsberg National Ice Hockey Tournament in Perth.
The tournament is open to players 13-years and under and is held between Australian state associations. Connor spent a gruelling four-weeks trying out for the Victorian team, with only a handful of players selected.
“I was really happy and excited to be selected in the final team,” Connor said.
“I am looking forward to playing against the best kids in Australia”.
While representing Victoria in ice hockey is an honour, it incurs significant financial burden, with no scholarships or funding. Connor and his family must bear the cost of travel, accommodation and uniforms.
As a result, Connor has personally signed 20 ice hockey pucks, which are on sale for $20 each at Micky B’z cafe in Bacchus Marsh.
Owner, Sharyn Baxter said she was happy to help Connor and his family, who she has known for many years.
“Connor and his parents travel to Oakleigh every weekend, sometimes going in as early as 4am and then coming home and going back at 4pm” she said.
“It is an expensive sport with no financial aid whatsoever. I have known Connor since he was just a baby and he is really dedicated to his ice hockey, so I’m more than happy to help with the fundraiser for his trip”.
Connor will arrive in Perth for the Ginsberg National Ice Hockey Tournament on August 8.
The signed ice-hockey pucks are on sale for $20 each at Micky B’z, 176 Main Street Bacchus Marsh.