Source: Daily Sabah

Türkiye’s 15-year-old Tan Nisan Göksal has become the youngest ice hockey player ever transferred to a European nation, signaling a bright future for both herself and her homeland in the world of ice hockey.

Known for their success in the Turkish league and their contribution to the national team, the Istanbul Pirates Ice Hockey Club is now beaming with pride over exporting young talent to Europe.

Tan Nisan Göksal, who rose through the ranks of the club’s youth system, has now made a significant move to Hungary, joining the Angels team.

During an interview with Anadolu Agency (AA) at Zeytinburnu Ice Island in Istanbul Göksal shared her aspirations and hopes for the future.

Göksal’s journey in ice hockey began at the young age of 5, as she recalled her early days skating along the Yeşilköy shore.

It was during one of her outings that she crossed paths with the players of the Pirates Ice Hockey team who were practicing on the rink, and that is when her love affair with the sport began at 6.

Clearly passionate about the sport, Göksal expressed her love for ice hockey and the exhilaration of being on the ice.

She emphasized the importance of family support in her journey, especially crediting her father for introducing her to ice hockey and fostering her passion for the sport.

Göksal’s talent was discovered by the Hungarians during a tournament in Hungary where she played alongside her Pirates teammates.

After a match, a member of the opposing team approached her father and expressed their eagerness to have the youngster on their roster.

When asked about what sets her apart from other players, Göksal pointed out her proficiency in skating, which eventually led to her potential being recognized.

She aspires to represent the Turkish national team, saying: “I’m currently part of the U18 national team. I also want to earn a scholarship to study abroad.”

The prospect of traveling frequently back and forth to play has raised questions about fatigue, but Göksal has acclimated to the routine.

She mentioned that while it was daunting at first, she has gotten used to it, and she prefers it because it allows her to continue her education in Türkiye.

Balancing her education with her athletic career is challenging, but Göksal manages with the support of her school.

She highlighted the importance of school support and understanding teachers, which enables her to continue her studies alongside her sports career.

Reflecting on her upcoming journey to Hungary, Göksal expressed her pride and gratitude while crediting the support she receives from her friends.

When asked about her advice to those curious about ice hockey, especially children, Göksal enthusiastically recommended the sport. “People do ask,” she said. “Yes, it is indeed an important sport. It is incredibly fun and action-packed. It is very fast, especially. You have to think on your feet. I highly recommend it.”

Her future goals include competing in the Youth Olympic Games (Gangwon 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games) after their U18 team defeated Mexico in England. She expressed her belief in the potential of the younger generation in Turkish ice hockey and wishes to see both the national and senior teams reach greater heights.