By Madura McCormack
A Perth ice hockey player has turned to the public to help fulfil her dream of playing in a top-tier national league.
The lack of funding available to women in the niche sport has pushed Marina Nottle, 23, to set up a ‘gofundme’ campaign to crowd source the money she needs to play in the Australian Women’s Ice Hockey League. (AWIHL)
“At the moment, due to numbers, we don’t have a [women’s] team here in Perth so the only option was to play for an interstate team,” says Nottle, who is a full time Law student at Edith Cowan University.
Drafted by the Brisbane Goannas, Nottle has seven return flights to make during the tournament and needs be at three matches to qualify for the finals.
So far she has raised $445 of her $3,000 goal, which will allow her to attend the match happening in Melbourne on November 7.
“They seem to concentrate all on the men’s league, we do have a Perth Thunder team but … It’s all about the men at the moment,” she says, adding that not many people are aware there is a hockey league for women.
Director for women’s hockey at Ice Hockey Australia, Rocky Padjen, agrees that there is no doubt the men get all the funding in the sport.
“Women in the national league would pay on average $2,500 to play the tournament. Men in the national league would probably not have to pay … because sponsorship and funding can cover the cost,” says Padjen.
The situation is worse for the Australian team, he says, because just like the national soccer team the Matildas, the women are expected to pay their own way to compete internationally while still working and training.
Nottle, who is working part time, hopes to one day represent the country in ice hockey and is using the AWIHL as a stepping-stone.
“Australia is very bad with equality to their female athletes. If you flip through any newspaper, the coverage of women in sport will be on the last page, behind the horses and the dogs,” says Padjen.
VIDEO: Marina Nottle and her quest to play national ice hockey