Hi, my name is Jule van Basten, a Dutch girl who studies chemical engineering (currently doing my master thesis). I play defence for the Icehawks apart from that in my second year as a member I was chairman of the association.
For how long have you been playing hockey?
At my 6th I started playing hockey. For a short period of 2 years, I stopped playing. As soon as I went to Eindhoven to study I started playing again. So this season 2021/2022 will be my 7th year with the Icehawks. Aside from playing ice hockey I also played inline hockey for 6 years. During those years, I think we became the national champion at least 4 times meaning we could go to the Europacup where we represented the Netherlands in competition with other champions from other countries.
Why did you pick ice hockey?
My brother was also playing and my parents live in a very small village where there are not many sports to choose from apart from tennis and korfball. The rink, luckily, is only a short drive of 10 minutes away or a bike ride of 20 minutes. So that’s why I decided to start playing hockey.
Is it difficult being a woman on a team that’s mostly men?
I never had any problems with it. I have been playing hockey since I was 6 so you learn to live with it and it doesn’t feel strange being to only women in our competition team. But when I was 15/16 the boys in my old team started to grow and become much stronger that is when I experienced some troubles because I had to work really hard just to keep up with them. Sometimes it wasn’t enough and my coach didn’t allow me to play.
What’s the best part of the sport for you?
For me it is just forgetting everything around me, the only thing which matters is my team, the puck, and winning. The adrenaline kick is amazing and makes you just want to play more.
What do you like the most about the team?
Well, there are not that many ice hockey teams so you know almost all the players of the other teams after your second year of playing. Besides, the common thing that bonds us is hockey and that just gives a different kind of bond than if we were to play any other sport.
What’s your jersey number? Is there a reason for picking it?
Now it is 9 but I used to play with 8 or 11. When I was young I picked 8 because it was my lucky number. Later when I started playing for the national team my number sometimes was 9 or 11. That’s the reason why also enjoy playing with those numbers.
Favorite moment with the Icehawks?
I think team weekend or winning the cup for the first time.
What are you known for within the Icehawks? Do you have a nickname?
I don’t have a nickname I think but I am definitely known for having a strong opinion and letting that known to everybody. So on the ice, you might think that I am mean or anything but I just really want to win and if somebody makes ‘stupid’ mistakes I will try to explain that either on the ice or off the ice. Because I don’t want to lose and I want you to become a better player.
Do you have any weird/interesting pregame rituals?
I always play with the same pair of socks. If I don’t have them I feel I am not playing the best I can.
What makes you keep coming to practices?
Trying to be better the next game. And if you don’t practice you won’t become any better. And chitchatting with everybody, it is just very nice to talk to my teammates. Lastly, also getting new energy for the next day. Sometimes you can have a horrible day at work, uni or just anywhere, and going to practice makes me forgot all that and energizes me for the next day.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone looking to try hockey, what would it be?
Well if you want to try something you have never tried go join the Icehawks. For me we are like a family who are all bonded because they enjoy the same thing, playing hockey.