Field hockey on ice? Broomball comes to Streatham
A new sport mixing both forms of hockey has come to the Streatham Ice Rink.
Described as field hockey on ice, organisers hope broomball will one day be as big as its ice hockey cousin.
In broomball, players wield wooden or metal brooms with a triangular hard rubber head as rackets and wear rubber soled shoes to run on the ice.
The puck is replaced by a rubber ball inflated to half the size of a volleyball.
The game originated in Australia and Andrew Nicholson, who lives and works in Bath but commutes to Streatham for practice sessions, hopes to start a broomball league in the UK.
He said: “I’ve just started a broomball night hoping to build up to a fully-fledged broomball competition in the UK, but for now we spend a portion of the night teaching rules and skills, then play some ad hoc games.”
Broomball is still relatively unknown in the UK, but it is played at the Broadgate ice rink in the city of London, where winter competitions are held as a coorporate event.
Mr Nicholson said: “I entered a team in the Broadgate competition for the first time this year and we had lots of fun, but really have the desire to play full-scale broomball.
“I have regular contact and support from the IFBA (International Federation of Broomball Associations) president as he is keen to see the UK represented at world and European events.”
Streatham’s broomball team trains every Tuesday from 9pm to 10.30pm and provides all equipment for first-time players, except shoes. The training fee for a night is £10.
Mr Nicholson added: “For new players without broomball shoes, we recommend the flattest soled shoe they have, something similar to a tennis shoe.”
The Broomball World Cup is played every two years, and will next be held in Austria in November.
For more information, email Andrew at firstname.lastname@example.org