On the roll again

Guy Hatch
Staff Writer

Should Virginia Wesleyan brace itself for an Ice Hockey program debut? Okay, maybe we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves, but the new roller hockey club could be the first step in that direction. Formed during the recent winter session, the group meets weekly for some friendly competition.
“We’re all great friends,” said junior Alex Ousely. “We could essentially be considered a club but we’re constantly welcoming newcomers and as a group we’ve decided that a ‘gathering’ sounds more welcoming instead.”
This gathering of hockey players has received mostly positive feedback along with a consistent number of weekly participants. However, the consistent use of the Cunningham Multipurpose Activity Center (CMAC) is perceived as a problem by some students.
“We’re only disliked by a few, simply because we require the use of the entire CMAC due to the safety of ourselves and spectators,” said Ousely.
“I don’t like it!” said senior Dustin Holland. “Usage of half of the CMAC is a sufficient amount of space for them to carry out their dreams of becoming future NHL stars.”
In fall 2009, current senior Alex Tiltman teamed up with Dean of Students Keith Moore with the hopes of creating a hockey league. The aspirations of the two men unfortunately went unnoticed with a lack of interest on campus.
The failed attempt did not discourage Tiltman from trying again. In fall 2010, Tiltman teamed up with sophomore Christian Withers to try again for a successful roller hockey club. Once again, a lack of interest led to the termination of the club.
The resurgence of the roller hockey club began on the recommendation of Vice President for Enrollment Services David Buckingham to Dean Moore.
“Hockey is increasingly growing on the national level,” said Moore. “Our student population consists of a number of northern students which in fact increases the

likelihood of a positive response.”
Excited for the group, Moore contacted Ousely.
“Moore contacted me because I often express my love for the NHL whenever we cross paths,” Ousely said.
Ousley is considered by many to be a key component to the roller hockey club.
“Alex does an amazing job communicating with participants,” said sophomore Jonathan Snow. “His leadership is exhibited throughout his willingness to set up equipment before everyone gets there and even staying after hours to clean up.”
Tiltman has given Ousely advice for restarting the club, including suggestions to reach out to as many groups as possible and even off-campus sources for possible funding assistance. Another concern is finding a new location.
“As of now, the CMAC is holding up, but an alternative location better equipped would be needed as the participants continue to grow in numbers,” Tiltman said. “After all, hockey as a sport is continuing to grow nationally which would lead to the support of the potential program on behalf of the student body.”

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