Updated: Sunday, 5th April 2020 @ 10:41am

Strength to strength: Manchester grad hopes to engineer British ice hockey success at World University Games

Strength to strength: Manchester grad hopes to engineer British ice hockey success at World University Games

By Alan Ross

While most students are winding down for Christmas, Philippa Riddoch will be playing with the Team GB ice hockey side at the World University Games in Italy this week.

The 26-year-old BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering graduate took up the sport before her 20th birthday and has so far represented both England and Great Britain, even competing against Olympians.

Mrs Riddoch, who is sponsored by the Manchester Metropolitan University engineering department, will be participating in her second World University Games having described her trip to Turkey in 2011 as the 'best hockey experience of her life', so she knows what to expect on the ice.

“We're under no illusion going into the games,” she told MM.

“We will be playing against some of the best student athletes in the world and so our aim is to put in a good showing that represents GB ice hockey and our country well.

“We played against athletes that had competed at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, so experience of that degree can only help make you a better player and increase the awareness of women's ice hockey in Great Britain.”

The Institution of Engineering and Technology  2012 Young Woman Engineer of the Year award finalist described her experiences so far as ‘brilliant’ and is hoping to be part of the team that takes on Japan on Tuesday. 

“From experience, I think the game against Canada will be our toughest test but whilst in Turkey, the Canadians took us under their wing and invited us on their training sessions so fingers crossed we can show them how much we've improved in the two and a half years since,” she continued.

"Yes the team has come together from all over the UK but with Women's Ice Hockey being such a minority sport, everyone on the team knows each other from previous England and GB trips so that helps somewhat in getting the team spirit going prior to the games.

“Everyone is looking forward to the games and is hoping to put a great deal of effort in to prove that Women's ice hockey in the UK is going from strength to strength.”

There will be 1,800 athletes at the 26th Winter Games and to follow the progress of Philippa and the rest of the Great Britain team check out www.bucs.org.uk/trentino.

Image courtesy of British Universities and Colleges Sport, with thanks.

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