Sara Benz is the speedy newcomer to the team who scored 4 points - 2 goals - 2 assists in five games at the 2012 World Championship. She answered these questions via email in March 2012. Translation by Kathrin Lehmann, Swiss Captain.
Q: How long have you been on the national team?
A: Playing since 2009 participated in 2 world championships.
Q: Personal awards and highlights for you on national team?
A: Under18: Best player of team Switzerland Under18 world championship 2008 Best forward of the U18 world championship division I 2010…Promotion to the top division 2010…Senior National Team: Best player of team Switzerland world championship 2011Participation at the Olympic Games 2010
Q: How did you get involved in hockey?
A: My brother played hockey and I have been playing since 1996.
Q: What do you love about playing the game?
A: Speed, winning and losing as a team
Q: Growing up…difficulties… challenges to play hockey in your country as a girl…
A: Not much support; we have to show every season again that a girl is able to play with boys
Q: What team are you playing with now and why?
A: ZSC Lions: they have good facilities, support from the club and a good coach and nice teammates.
Q: How would you describe the calibre of club hockey in your country?
A: Average, but this year we showed in the European Women’s Champions Cup that we are able to keep up with the big nations in Europe (won against Finnish champion and lost only 2:1 to Moscow). I think we improved step by step, but we don’t have many good players
Q: What is a typical week for you; how much hockey and what else?
A: Lectures every day and studying afterwards at home. In the evenings 3 to 4 practices in a week on ice and off ice practices before the ice and two games on the weekend
Q: Who is your favorite female player and why?
A: Don’t have one. There are many players that inspire/inspired me, for example Kelly Paton and Christine Meier.
Q: Who are the leaders in women's hockey in your country and what are they doing?
A: Florence Schelling and Christine Meier are the only players that are really known in Switzerland in the ”normal“ population (outside the hockey-world). They are just great hockey players and therefore are in the media a lot.
Q: What is the challenge now for women in your country compared to 5 years ago?
A: In the past the girls had to work hard and had a big challenge to get their spot on a boys’ team. Now the girls are accepted and it became a normal thing to have a girl on your team (but that’s still not the case in every club in Switzerland, but in those where girls played before)
Q: What do you think of the web site www.WINIH.com?
A: It’s interesting to get information about players from different countries and especially to get to know what they are thinking
Q: What could be done in online media to help women's international hockey?
A: I think the more you report on games and players in the media, the more it gets accepted and known.
Q: What has changed with this team since last worlds?
A: This year the players are younger and we have players with less experience.