Students find unlikely passion for winter sports

In San Diego, where the weather is mild year-round, it is difficult for many to find a passion for winter sports such as hockey and figure skating

Kids and teens who have a love for these uncommon sports must go to difficult lengths to get the practice they need to succeed further in the sport.

One of these students is TPHS figure skater and varsity dancer, Nora Boumsellek (11).  Boumsellek’s practice schedule is demanding; she wakes up at five a.m almost every day and drives to the Westfield UTC ice rink where she practices for an hour and a half before heading to school.

With her practices being so strenuous and time-consuming, she must manage her time well to balance her extracurriculars and academics. She does so by prioritizing her schoolwork in her minimal free time, and keeping a set schedule of her practices throughout the week. 

“To wake up at 4:30 every morning I go to sleep at 9:30 so I push myself to finish all my homework once I get back from school,” Boumsellek said. 

Contrary to popular opinion, hockey and figure skating are common in California; competitions are easy to find, and the competitiveness is through the roof. Kyle Tracy (11) a competitive hockey player, frequently attends tournaments and games within and outside of California. 

“Hockey is spread out in California so finding competitions is not hard. We are able to compete for club and high school teams playing in season and playoff games, along with tournaments throughout the year,” Tracy said. 

However, TPHS does not offer ice sports as an option for these students. Boumsellek has a love for both dance and figure skating so she is also a part of the TPHS Dance Team while continuing to follow through with all of her commitments. 

Reaching the skill level needed to go professional in ice sports requires a lot of discipline from a young age. Most,  if not all of these athletes started when they were younger, and most tend to drop out by the time they are old enough to have social lives, making such activities rare in high school.  

¨Figure skating is something that most people start at a very young age and it is unexpectedly [the level of] discipline which usually stops people from continuing.” Boumsellek said. 

Committing to be a student-athlete for these sports is not offered at many colleges. Instead of D1 dreams, many ice sports athletes have the main goal of going professional.

 “Going pro is a dream of any player, but it requires you to be at a high skill level, going to a junior league, college team, or overseas and then getting drafted,” Tracy said, 

Tracy plans on following through with this step-by-step process of going pro and hopes to continue Hockey throughout his life. On the other hand, some athletes such as Boubsellek want to prioritize other areas of interest and take a break from the commitments of these sports after high school. 

Winter sports such as ice skating and hockey take time, dedication, commitment and a lifelong passion. Although TPHS does not offer them as sports to represent the school, these students still find a way to prioritize the winter sport they love all year round.

One thought on “Students find unlikely passion for winter sports

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