We will be rollerskating 792 miles for a 50/50 split between Mind and a financial support fund for members of our club in difficulty.
by Streatham Storm Women’s Ice Hockey Club in London, England, United Kingdom
For a 50/50 split between mental health charity Mind and a financial support fund for members of our club in difficulty, the Streatham Storm Women's Ice Hockey Club will be rollerskating 792 miles to represent the 792 million people that suffer from mental health disorders worldwide. That's just a little further than from our rink in London all the way to Lillehammer, Norway!
WHY WE ARE RAISING FOR MIND
Now more than ever, people’s mental health worldwide is in peril. This pandemic has ravaged people’s families, friends and livelihoods, leaving millions in dangerously vulnerable positions. There has never been a more important time to lend a helping hand to those who are suffering, making sure no one ever has to face mental health struggles alone.
Mind is absolutely key in achieving this, with clear goals to build a brighter future for mental health through spreading awareness of mental health issues through their 125 local branches,various national helplinesoffering professional training (e.g. suicide prevention skills and Mental Health First Aid), and campaigning for key mental health legislation. Mind has brought us a long way in understanding and helping those suffering from mental health difficulties over the last 70 years, but there is still a long way to go to make sure that everyone experiencing a mental health problem receives the support and respect they deserve.
The benefits sports has on our mental wellbeing is something all of us at Storm appreciate, and is one of the key reasons why our players have decided to raise funds for Mind. We have certainly been reminded how lucky we are to have a positive environment to play the sport that we love and have our mental health be all the better for it. We fully encourage all of you to get active and try something new (especially rollerskating!) to take care of your mental health - and if possible, please consider donating to help Mind offer support to others as well!
WHY WE ARE RAISING FOR OUR CLUB
“Hockey is for everyone” is a rhetoric echoed throughout the worldwide community over the last few years. However, we have a long way to go to achieving this goal, and sadly the world of women’s UK hockey is no exception.
It’s an unfortunate fact that ice hockey is an expensive sport - senior player kit usually runs upwards of £300, training and game ice costs hundreds of pounds an hour, and this, alongside travel, registration and insurance fees are all entirely funded by our members. In addition, no matter what level of hockey you play at, no female players are paid for playing in the UK.
Even worse is the international players fees, which sees players being charged upwards of £600 to play in our league if they have ever trained overseas, even for a matter of months, or if they were born outside of the UK. This is regardless of their experience level. In addition, these ITCs incur an ongoing annual cost to the club, and therefore our players, of upwards of £1,000 per year. London is one of the most international and multicultural cities in the world, and as such a huge amount of our players are being hit with these crushing fees, severely limiting their ability to play and doing untold damage to the grassroots of the sport in the UK.
To total it up, the cost per year for a regular player is in excess of £1000 while this increases to nearly £2000 for an international player, as outlined below:
Our club has always covered as much of these costs as possible for those who need it, but with increasing prices and more people than ever struggling as a result of the pandemic, the number of members we can help is limited without passing on the cost to other players - the antithesis of a solution to this serious problem. With the situation as it is an increasing number of players, from the grassroots of the sport to those who represent the best of UK women’s hockey, face the gut wrenching reality of not being able to play the sport they love simply because they cannot afford it.
With this in mind, 50% of money raised would be exclusively put aside for assisting players at all levels with these fees who would otherwise not be able to afford to play. In this we as a club are committed to the assertion that hockey is for everyone, no matter their financial situation or where in the world they are from.