The Aardwolfs Ice Hockey Club is based in Christchurch, New Zealand. The Aardwolfs now compete as part of the Christchurch Senior Non-Checking (SNC) Ice Hockey League. The club was created in 1998 by Glen Cameron and Tony Oston out of the ‘Varsity Teams’ playing in the High School league and the Sharks team playing the B grade Contact Ice Hockey competition. The Aardwolfs became a part of the Senior Non-Checking (SNC) Ice Hockey League. The purpose of this league, is to offer a non-checking ice hockey competition for adult players and those who prefer a less psychically aggressive game. It encourages a friendly atmosphere where players go to play ice hockey and have some fun.
Growing quickly, the 2000 season saw the SNC league create a ‘B-Grade’ for beginners, creating a stepping stone for the A-Grade. In 2001, The 'Aardwolfs A Team' merged with the B-grade Lonestars thus forming the 'Aardwolfs Ice Hockey Club’ we have today.
Over the last few years, the level of hockey has improved and the SNC Ice Hockey League has grown in size to the point that no ice time was available in winter for the SNC to expand. So in 2003, the SNC Ice Hockey League decided to switch to a summer season enabling them to expand even further into three grades picking up an extra 6 teams to make it a 14 Team League, these are the: Premier Grade, for our most skilled players to compete with each other without the full-contact factor. A-Grade, creating a stepping stone both up and down between the other grades, giving people the chance to improve their level of skill. B-Grade, offering a starter grade for new and beginner players to participate and learn basic Ice skating and Hockey skills.
In early 2004 the Aardwolfs Ice Hockey Club, Executive decided to form a Masters Team specifically for playing in Masters Tournaments and against visiting Masters teams, this follows the clubs philosophy of actively pursuing and supporting all facets of Ice Hockey for its members. 2004 was also the first year that the Aardwolfs undertook a Southern Migration, this was huge success and will be a regular future feature of the Aardwolfs Calendar. The hospitality and new friends made down South made for a great trip.
The SNC grew again in the 2004-2005 to include a 6 team Premier league but there was also a reduction of one A Grade team. Once again in early 2005 the Aardwolfs executive decided that expansion was called for, this time it was a second Team in the A Grade competition, the decision was to call the Existing A Team, Aardwolfs Thunder and the new A Team, Aardwolfs Lightning. This gives the Aardwolfs the depth they need to cater for the growing number of B grade players who are outgrowing the B Grade and looking to move up to the A Grade. This was also the time that the Blue Alternative playing strip was introduced. This was needed when the two Aardwolfs A teams played each other. The Aardwolfs ended the 2004-2005 Season with wins to the Aardwolfs B Team and the Aardwolf Thunder Team in the end of season knockout competition.
In mid 2005 the Aardwolfs Club committee started to put a team together to play in the South Island Masters Games, it soon became apparent that there was enough interest to form two masters teams, The Arthritic Aardwolfs and the Ancient Aardwolfs came into being, performing well making new friends and having a social time at the SIMG. This makes a total of 6 Teams currently for the Aardwolfs, the Club continues to grow. There was also a second Southern Migration, a four day trip including Dunedin in the itinerary. Once again Southern hospitality was outstanding and everyone had a brilliant time.
The 2005-2006 season was also a good season for our SNC Teams as the Premier Grade finished 3rd in the end of season competition, our A-Grade teams 1st and 3rd, with our b-Grade team coming in 2nd. All in all a successful year.
These are exciting times, as the Aardwolfs Ice Hockey Club grows even more popular, currently with over 90 playing members and 25 associate members, it makes the Clubs frequent social events lots of fun.
Southern Migration Edit
The Aardwolfs Ice Hockey Club is known for their annual 'southern migration', a social trip around the Otago and Southland Regions of New Zealand. Games are held against many of the local teams during their travels including against the Dunedin Ice Hockey Association.