As a way to introduce new players to the weekend, we asked some of our Allstars a few questions including their thoughts on the weekend, any fundraising events lined up and what they're looking forward to the most.
First up is Rookie Allstar Liam McSharry, who is playing and raising funds for the Dreams Come True team.
I'm pretty pleased with how it's gone so far. With it being my first year taking part, the initial novelty helped me raise a good amount. Now that has died down a little it's time to get the fundraising ideas flowing!
To be honest, my efforts so far have been focused on friends, family and work colleagues. Social media has also been a big tool thus far. There is a great group of guys based in Northern Ireland taking part for various teams this year. I had set myself a target of £500, and am currently sitting at £555. Once I hit the initial target I have no doubt my team captain will help me set another haha! We've got a quiz night this Saturday to raise more money for the charity.
On the whole it's an amazing event, we all know the hockey community are great at getting together and supporting great causes etc but this is another level. From what I've heard, it's run amazingly too so that helps on the bigger scale fundraising wise. Also, the fact that each team has 17 players all digging deep into their own pockets to travel and book hotels etc just to take part speaks volumes.
A small part of me will be nervous, I'm not a hockey player and am learning the skill set from scratch in a short space of time. But another part is excited to be a part of a team sport again and get into a little competitive spirit. The social aspect is also something I'm really looking forward to, I've met some amazing people through hockey so a chance to expand that network is very appealing. The thing I'm looking forward to the most will be the achievement of raising a significant amount of money for a great charity, not something I have ever done before. Not gonna lie though, having a hockey jersey with my own name and number on it is going to be pretty cool too.
I have some friends that have taken part for a good few years now, but it was a good friend of mine that took part last year for the first time and hearing him talk about it that made me take the leap. We're playing on the same team this year so I'm buzzing about that.
As a newbie, before I found out I was taking part this year, a few public skates were the height of my experience. The whole experience since then, and the help of my awesome team mates, has led me to prospect of joining up with a local rec team.
Thanks to Liam for his time and sharing his experience leading up to his first Allstars weekend. We look forward to welcoming him and all our Allstars to Cardiff
Keep your eyes out for more player articles in the coming days.