To say that Brittany Ng is your average teenager is not just an understatement but also extremely inaccurate. Last year, she was the youngest player on the National Ice Hockey team. As she was only 15 at the time, Brittany had to find a way to train without jeopardising her education.
Brittany began her career in ice hockey in Primary Three, carrying on her family tradition. She says her family has “ice in [their] veins.” As a Canadian, her father played for his university and is still an ardent player in Hong Kong. Her mother, who also spent a lot of her life in Canada, not only played hockey at university, but also started the Hong Kong’s Women Ice Hockey League.
In the summer of 2015, Brittany was selected to play for Hong Kong. She felt ecstatic following her breakthrough. “I understood how much it meant to be part of the national ice hockey team last year – especially travelling to Bulgaria for the competition,” she says, referring to the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship – DivIIBQ in Sofia, Bulgaria. “It made me realise how privileged I am to be able to represent Hong Kong, and that I really love hockey.”
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The Hong Kong International School student also competes in a number of other sports – field hockey (again playing for the Hong Kong team), football and track and field at inter-school level, and lacrosse, to name but a few.
When asked how she balances her studies, Brittany says it is pretty manageable. “Based on the grades I got last year, I coped well. But I had to skip a week and a half of school just before final exams to go to Bulgaria which was really stressful. There were times where I had to sacrifice time between trainings and practices to study instead of resting.”
The additional sports Brittany plays help her to be more athletic. She says: “To be honest, I think compared to everyone else [on the Hong Kong Women’s National Ice Hockey Team], I do a lot more sports and athletics than they do. Their main job is to work and earn money rather than play hockey. So they don’t do much [sport] aside from our training sessions, which gives me the advantage of being able to stay agile and on the ice for longer. I feel like I have more stamina.”
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Even though, Brittany has a strenuous training regime, she believes that she needs to practise even more. She says “My biggest challenge is getting enough practice. Right now, there’s only one practice on ice a week, and one off ice. I feel that to improve, I need to practise much more.”
And with that attitude, she’s bound to improve. Brittany says: “The best advice I was ever given was ‘to be better’. For me, it helps to focus on what I need to do to be better individually and as a team. If you want to be better, you have to have the passion to continue what you’re doing.”
Her ultimate goal is to take Hong Kong to the Winter Olympics in 2022, in Beijing. She said, “It’s going to be tough, but there is no harm in trying!”
What song/movie title best describes you when your playing the sport?
All I Do Is Win by DJ Khaled.
You can have any superpower for 24 hours. What would it be and why?
Teleportation, so I can get to my practices quicker.
If you could have an unlimited amount of anything, what would it be and why?
Hockey sticks, because I keep breaking mine.
10 years into the future, you are a famous athlete. What company do you sign on as spokesperson for?
Under Armour, because I’ve always liked the way they support their athletes. Their slogan ‘protect this house’ is also really admirable because it relates to all the sports I play.
Who is your favourite athlete and why?
Penny Oleksiak, because she’s so young, dedicated and passionate about her sport and that pushes me to strive for more. It’s amazing how she is my age and has a gold, a silver and two bronze medals from the Rio 2016 Olympics to her name.