My name is Maarten Blömer, and I’m an ICT student at Fontys. I’m Dutch, but spent most of my life abroad in Spain and Sweden, before moving back to the Netherlands to study. My duty on the team is defence, to protect the goalie from pesky offense players screening them. I’ve also done a year as game commissioner for the board, worked on the website/Facebook pages for a while, helped lay down some connections for the student division and rookie teams to have opponents to play against when there are no division games on the schedule. The previous season I also took over the captainship for the student division team.
For how long have you been playing hockey?
I’ve been playing hockey from the day I started my studies in Eindhoven, which is roughly 5 years ago.
Why did you pick ice hockey?
Living in Sweden you’re constantly surrounded by the sport, especially in the capital where you had 3 teams playing at the highest national level. All the other kids on my football team would play ice hockey during the winter breaks when we couldn’t play football outside due to the low temperatures and insane amount of snow. Sadly the team in my area wouldn’t accept people with zero experience for that age bracket. Having said that, I did start watching professional games on national TV and even started following the NHL. At the introduction week, I noticed a stall that was tucked away in the back. After taking a closer look, it was the Icehawks, they mentioned that they were accepting people at any skill level, I signed up and never looked back since.
What’s the best part of the sport for you?
After watching the Stockholm derby in an arena gave me chills, the speed at which things happened was something that managed to captivate my attention which is something that is insanely hard for somebody with ADD (Attention deficit disorder). It keeps you on your toes, having to constantly think ahead instead of reacting.
What do you like the most about the team? What do you think makes us different from the rest?
The team becomes your second family, everybody is super welcoming and always wants to help you improve at your game. From the guys and girls who have never seen an ice skate before to people who have played professionally are welcome to join and get treated the same as somebody who has been with the Hawks for years.
What’s your jersey number?
I’ve always played with the number 3, as young kids do, I grew up looking up to the professional players. One of them being Jaap Stam, the tall defender for the Dutch football team, who also had the number 3. All my teammates kept comparing my height to other players who wore similar numbers like Zdeno Chara who wore the number 3 as well.
Favorite moment with the Icehawks?
There are so many good moments to choose from… But the one that I’ll never forget is seeing the surprise and joy on the face of Roger (the coach) when we invited all the old members from the Hawks to join for a special tournament when Roger turned 60.
What are you known for within the Icehawks?
I’m known for my size, my taste in music and my slap shot.
Do you have any weird/interesting pregame rituals?
It’s not really a pregame ritual, but more out of habit to always put on the gear in a particular order. Similar to Wayan, more of a post-game ritual, after the away games we always visit the McDonalds on our way home.
What makes you keep coming to practices?
After a long day of university, there’s nothing more relaxing than hockey. It helps clear the mind from all the chaos going on outside of the rink. The cold air blowing through your hair as you skate around on the ice is refreshing. Last but not least, everybody on the team is always pushing each other to become better.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone looking to try hockey, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid of trying out something new, you might just end up falling in love with the sport. We have introduction practices where you get to experience firsthand what it’s like to be on the ice for the first time. The only thing you need to join the Hawks is a student card, we welcome everybody of all shapes, sizes and experience!