UCL ice hockey player relishes international challenge 10/01/2017
Chris Fox of University College London (UCL) is among the 65 selected British athletes that will head out to Almaty, Kazakhstan for the 28th Winter Universiade, taking place from 29 January—8 February 2017.
For the past four years Chris has juggled his university work with playing for UCL’s ice hockey first team. He’ll now compete against students from across the globe as part of the British university delegation as they take on the world’s best athletes.
“[University sport] has allowed me to play against quality players from abroad who have come to the UK to study, both in the leagues and at the end of season national tournament. It has also helped me take on more of a leadership role in the university club,” says Chris.
Alongside his university course and high-level sporting commitments, Chris has also coached all of UCL’s ice hockey teams throughout the duration of his studies. In doing so, he has assisted the teams in gaining promotion while also developing his employability skills.
“The first team in ice-hockey has been fortunate enough to win promotion twice and the B team once, since I started coaching. The A team also won Tier II nationals with a very small squad, which was an incredible experience.
“Being Head Coach of up to 60 players over multiple sessions on a Wednesday afternoon of varying abilities from American collegiate players to absolute beginners has been a fantastic opportunity and challenge. I like to think it has definitely helped build my leadership abilities,” adds Chris.
The 2017 Winter Universiade, or the World University Winter Games, is an international multi-sport event which is organised for university students and is held under the auspices of the International University Sports Federation (FISU). The biennial competition will this year take place in Almaty, Kazakhstan from 29 January—8 February.
Chris is part of the 22-strong men’s ice hockey team managed by Simon Hopkins and Andrew Miller. Not only is Chris the only UCL student in the men’s squad, he is the only UCL student within the GB delegation.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I know everyone on the team is incredibly excited about the tournament,” says Chris.
“I think it will be a fantastic experience to challenge ourselves against quality international opposition – see how good we really are and also experience travelling to Kazakhstan.
Upon graduating, Chris will be placed as a Junior Doctor, and despite the commitment necessary in his chosen career path, he hopes to continue participating in the sport he loves.
“I am hoping to continue to play club hockey at a good level and hopefully move up into the division above,” says Chris.
Follow the student athletes progress at the multi-sport competition on Twitter using the GB-specific hashtag (#WUGSGB), or the official event hashtag (#WUAlmaty2017). To find out more about the competition, including a full event timetable and a list of featured disciplines, visit the BUCS website or the event website.
GB’s official teamwear sponsor for the 2017 Winter Universiade is Trespass.