Sports can shape a person’s life from beginning to end, Eileen Meslar is no exception. Her life has evolved around her love for ball hockey.
From eight years old, Meslar has been playing either ball hockey or ice hockey. “Ball hockey is probably my favorite sport, even above ice hockey. So once I started picking it up again I was like, oh my gosh I miss this so much,” says Meslar.
Meslar restarted her ball hockey career at the age of 22. She joined a Chicago Ball Hockey team and in 2015 was accepted to play on the USA Women’s Ball Hockey team.
The sport of ball hockey has yet to be considered an olympic sport by the International Olympic Committee.
“Unfortunately this isn’t an olympic sport. So we have to fundraise and pay for all the equipment ourselves,” explains Meslar.
This includes practicing, traveling and accommodation costs. The team does allow for the selling of merchandise to help alleviate some of the expenses but even then the traveling can be expensive.
This doesn’t stop Meslar from doing everything possible for her Ball Hockey clubs. In the past two years she has traveled everywhere from Philadelphia to the Czech Republic and she doesn’t plan on stopping soon. “It’s a lot of work and a lot of money, but it’s definitely worth it in the end!”
Meslar also credits her teammates for making the hard work worthwhile. “There are at least three teammates I went to the weddings of last year after the tournament, it just creates such a close bond.
You go to war with your closest friends and you just become a family in the end.”
Going even further than her teammates, she brought up her coaches on Team USA. “Their method of coaching, really made a difference. It was amazing having two female coaches, they really know what they are doing and how to bond with the team.”
Eileen Meslar will be at the Mystique Community Ice Center on April 7th from 3-6 pm to help fundraise for her trip to Slovakia for this upcoming Championship run.
A junior at Loras College, Matthew Wadkowski is a Media Studies major. Matthew has lived in the Dubuque community since 2006, attending school from elementary all the way to college. He is now a reporter for LCTV News as well as a tennis athlete for Loras College.