Andrine Furulund is 19 years old. She is a Norwegian hockey player who now lives in Gothenburg, Sweden. She lived in Oslo with her family and her dog until she finished high school. In August of last year (2017), she packed up her bags and moved to Sweden, to follow her dream of becoming a hockey player.
Andrine’s days start at 5 am. She works full time at Store Support during the day. In the evening she has on and off ice hockey practice most days of the week. She goes to bed early every night, in order to be ready to do it all over again the next day.
Besides hockey she’s into photography and drowing. Unfortunately, after a day’s work and hockey practice, there isn’t much time left for anything else.
HOW MY SOCCER TEAM BECAME A HOCKEY TEAM
I started playing hockey when I was 8 or 9 years old. My aunt Kari Fjellhammer who introduced me to the sport, played in the most prestigious league in Norway for many years. She was also on the Norwegian national hockey team.
I was into soccer, when my aunt took me and my whole soccer team to the ice rink. We all had such a great time, that we decided to also start playing ice hockey. It was thanks to my aunt and Jarle Hilton, that this all girl hockey team came to be. The beginning was hard since there was no girl’s league. We had to start by playing against boys and losing almost every single game. Eventually, after a lot of practice, we got better and started winning. I remember how it felt good to win the game and see the boys cry for having lost.
WINNING MY FIRST MEDAL
When I turned 13, I started playing for the women’s team IHK Jordal. As I got older, I also started playing on the boy’s team Hasle-Løren. Having an opportunity to play with both girls and boys was a great experience.
Every year there was a regional championship for the girls under 18. I competed in finals 6 years in a row and won at least 3 gold medals, but also a couple of silver and bronze. All in all, it was a great experience. for all of us.
A WONDERFUL MEMORY FROM VAUJANY, FRANCE
I have also competed in three U18 World Championships for Norway. My fondest memory is winning the silver medal at the 2015 World Championship of IA Division, in Vaujany, France. We had a great team that year, the surroundings were beautiful. My dad was also there, in the stands, and got to see me winning a silver medal. It was absolutely amazing.
I’ve also had an opportunity to compete in two women’s World Championships I participated in so many different competitions, that sometimes I lose count.
MOVING TO THE BIG LEAGUE
In 2017 I moved to Gotheburg, Sweden, to play in SDHL, one of the better women’s hockey leagues. It was an opportunity for me to develop my skills and improve my game. This league is at much higher level then the one I played in Norway, and I saw that this was going to be a fun challenge early on.
It was not easy moving away from friends and home, even though Gothenburg is not that far away from Oslo. Now I have to look after myself. I’ve learnt a lot about myself and life in general over the past 7 months. I think I’m doing pretty well.
Even though my team is ranked as the last in the League in the previous season, we have significantly improved our game. We lost a lot at the beginning, however, around Christmas we turned things around. That was a great feeling.
HOCKEY IS NOT JUST ABOUT MUSCLES AND STRENGTH
Many see hockey as a men’s sport. The game can be rough and you need a lot of strength and stamina on the ice. That is true, but it is also not all. Physical strength and muscles are not enough. A team has no need for a physically strong player, who does not understand the game. If you want to be a great player, you need to understand the game strategy, which direction to skate in, and who to pass the puck to. You need to be able to read both your opponents and your teammates. You need to use your head and be smart in order to be good at it.
A FEW FINAL THOUGHTS
While living in Gothenburg, I believe I have grown both as a hockey player and as a person. I am not sure what the future holds, but I would really love to continue playing hockey here.
My message to the younger players, who are just getting started, would be to have fun. If you want to get better at the game of hockey, you have to be able to enjoy it and have fun along the way. It will not always be easy and you will not always win, so it is important to enjoy it for the fun of it.