An ice queen ready for Olympic challenge
Being an ice hockey star is not the vocation you would normally expect from a Central Coast school girl growing up surrounded by sun and sand.
But Sharnita Crompton from Erina High School has defied the odds, and will compete in the Winter Youth Olympic Games next January in Innsbruck, Austria.
She will be the first female ice hockey player ever chosen to represent Australia at the Youth Olympics.
Since Australia did not qualify for the ice hockey team tournament, Sharnita will be competing in the individual Skills Challenges against some of the world's best hockey players.
To be selected Sharnita first had to try out against the best Australian players to represent Ice Hockey Australia at the Global Skills Challenge qualification event in Finland.
The Challenge involved being timed and judged on a number of exercises to test shooting accuracy, skating speed and accuracy.
Despite breaking her favourite hockey stick, Sharnita was placed sixth in the world and made the other competitors realise she'd be a force to be reckoned with, come the Olympics.
The Finland event was not the first time Sharnita had travelled overseas following her dream of being a top ice hockey player. In 2008 she went to Sweden and last year was in Canada.
"I also played for the Australian ice hockey team in the world championships," she said.
"We were tied in the grand final, but then The Netherlands went on to win."
Sharnita said she hoped to make ice hockey her life.
"I'm doing my HSC this year. It would be my dream to go to university in Canada and pursue my love of ice hockey," she said.
Photo: Sharnita Crompton in action. Photo supplied by WULOS.