WHAT’s three inches in diameter, weighs less than an apple and can travel at speeds in excess of 100mph?
The answer is a Floorball ball.
And there are loads being whacked every week down at the YMCA in Bohemia.
Sol Buckner went along to the centre to find out what all the noise was about..............
WITH SPEEDS of up to 100mph and the chance to represent your country soon after your debut, it’s easy to see how the sport of floorball is quickly gathering pace.
And it wasn’t until the arrival of a young Latvian sportsman called Kaspars Maksimovs that the first seeds were sown locally.
The 25-year-old arrived at Sussex Coast College as a sports science student in 2010.
Kaspars, who is orginally from Latvia, got together a few friends and started training at Summerfields Leisure centre once a week.
In November 2011 Kaspars entered his new Hastings Predators team into the South East Floorball regional league.
The guys struggled to win many games in their first season but established themselves as a new club.
Despite finishing bottom in March 2012, the Predators were more determined to succeed and spent the summer training harder and recruiting more players.
One of those to enter the fold was Lauren Fowle, the first woman to make the adult team.
In November last year the team embarked on its second season in the league and this time was more of a force to be reckoned with.
The team finished sixth out of eight teams and now the target for next season is the top four.
It is the only team in East Sussex and is quickly gathering steam. New players can even be considered for the UK Floorball team according to Kaspars.
Earlier this week the team flew out to Lviv in the Ukraine to take part in its first overseas tournament representing Hastings taking on some of the best teams in the game.
Among the squad is 28-year-old Lauren Edwards-Fowle the only local woman to venture into the game so far.
“I absolutely love it, “ she said. “I’d never even heard of floorball before but I am hooked now.
“It’s an intense workout and also involves a lot of skill.
“It’s fast and furious and a lot of fun.
“I don’t worry about being a girl up against the men because it’s really a non contact sport though you do get the odd bump and scrape.
“Not many people know about floorball and I’m really keen to spread the word and get it into our schools and wider community.”
Kaspars and Lauren have worked hard to establish an educational programme, a community group and an adult team.
They have secured sponsorship from local businesses and is supported by the Sussex Community Foundation, Sport England and the Borough Council.
They also secured some initial funding for equipment from Sussex Coast College.
The sport has recently been recognised by the Olympic Committee and could make its debut at the 2020 games.
Kaspars works as a personal trainer at sponsor Zeus Gym during the day.
He has managed to recruit some countrymen to join the Predators and believes next season will be their best ever.
“We just keep getting stronger and stronger,” he said. “We have come such a long way in a short space of time.
“When I came over from Latvia I knew there was no floorball in England.
“So that was my goal to get into the schools which was key. We have about 50 players on our books now but we are looking for more.
“The adult league begins in October through to April.
“I would say come along and try and a new sport. It’s good fun and you can meet new people from different backgrounds.
“Also you could have a real chance of playing in the UK team, so come and give it a try.”
Training sessions take place at the YMCA centre in St Paul’s Road every Monday and Wednesday from 8-9pm. For more information call Kaspars on