The RAF Pumas!

The RAF Pumas women's team are going to be joining the RAF Aces men's team in 2020 at the CARHA Hockey World Cup. We asked Teresa Lewis from the team a few questions about the team's history, their plans, and what they're excited for!

Tell us about the RAF Pumas - how did this team come to be, and how long have you been a team for?
In the beginning, there were a few of us girls that had played in the RAF club teams for many years. I was the only women to play on the men's team, the RAF Aces, from 2010 to 2016. Over the years, with support and promotion from the RAF club team, more ladies became interested and began to play, and eventually, we had enough to make a women's team. This was made possible with the help of local civilian women players to help strengthen the team and help with development camps. 

The Pumas first training session was in November 2016 and we had our first match in 2017 in Telford. This was against a RAF team of equal abilities. We didn't win that day but the team learned a lot, had fun, and history was made.

How did the team come about the decision to attend your first CARHA Hockey World Cup, alongside the RAF Aces?
Having heard the men's team were attending the tournament again and having heard their amazing stories, it was the perfect opportunity for us to come and experience it ourselves. 2020 is going to be the first overseas trip for the Pumas team. 

Do you see a similar level of camaraderie in the game of hockey and in the air force?
Yes, the camaraderie is the same both on and off the ice. Hockey people are a strange breed to begin with, haha!

What interests you about the CARHA Hockey World Cup, and what are you looking forward to in Richmond?
We cannot wait to see what Richmond has to offer. It seems to be a beautiful part of the country and the home of ice hockey, so what's not to love? Most of the team will have never been to an NHL game, so that experience alone will be amazing for them. I'm a Bruins fan myself but I guess I can support the Vancouver Canucks just for one day.

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