A sports club with Canadian roots has been going strong in the Rebel County and further afield for more than 20 years.
Established in the early 90s by several Canadian ice-hockey players who came to study at University College Cork, the UCC Inline Hockey Club has ensured that the sport is still thriving across Cork.
A variation of the popular sport of Ice Hockey, Inline Hockey sees two teams with inline roller blades compete on a hard smooth surface.
The two teams compete for possession of a plastic puck, aiming to score in the opposition's goal.
“The club was founded in the early part of the nineties during the golden years of inline hockey in Cork,” said club coach Cian O’Mahony, who has been involved with the sport since a young age.
“At that time there were several clubs, several hundred players and the sport was booming.
“Many years have passed since then and the sport is still alive and thriving in both Cork and Ireland,” he added.
“This years club captain is Tony O'Donoghue who is doing an excellent job of keeping the club running this season.” The club offers a fun relaxed way to learn new skills or work on existing ones as an inline hockey player, explained Cian.
“The sport is complicated however, very addictive once you get started,” he added.
“Our club trains twice a week from 8.15pm to 10pm on a Monday and Wednesday throughout the season.
“In-line hockey is a special sport because it is a fast-paced sport,” he said.
“However, while it certainly isn’t chess, it is much less taxing on the body then other sports which wear down the joints and players can play well and compete very late in life.” The club also offer a competitive environment for those students seeking to compete on the national stage.
“The club has had varied level of success throughout the years including a few national titles at different standards,” said Cian.
“There has also been great success in the past for female teams and this year we also hope to enter a team into the Irish League.” With around 30 members, the club is thriving which, Cian said, he hopes will continue long into the future.
As well as entering a female team into the league this year, Cian revealed the club are planning a three-on-three tournament event for 2019, which promises to be a busy year UCC Inline Hockey Club.
“We also have several friendly matches planned to keep sharp,” he added.