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Left with rink coach Mark Sadgrove and Annette Davis, Blacktown Ice Rink, Sydney, c1982. Courtesy Wendy Ovenden.


January 31st 1973

ACTIHA Mumma Bears, Blacktown City Flames, Sydney Royals, EWL Streatham Strikers, NSWIHA Sydney Icemen, Canterbury Eagles, Macquarie Bears (Sydney Bears) Women's Team

McKowen Trophies
1995, '96, '97, '98, '99

World Championships

Founding member of state women's league
Founding member of NWT
Best Defense 1996 (McKowen)
Accredited Coach Level 2

BORN AUGUST 11TH, 1965 in Sydney, she began skating at Homebush in 1979 then attended the summer hockey training camp at Canterbury. At 14, she and Annette Davis were the first Sydney girls to play when the women's game resumed for the first time since the 1920s. They were supported and encouraged by the Canterbury United players — among them Kevin Price, Noel Taylor, Mark 'Stevo' Stephenson — and also Jack Heggie, president of the state association.

In 1980 she joined the hockey program at the new Blacktown rink; began scrimmaging with the Red Devils and Blue Angels; and traveled the 17 hours up to Toombul on Brisbane Limited to play. In 1981 she played in both cities and the next year she enrolled in the coaching program run by Canadian, Mark Sadgrove, qualifying as a Level 2 coach. She joined the ACT's Mumma Bears women's team on their New Zealand tour, winning all seven games.

Ronald Mann encouraged her coaching and asked her to coach the Bantam team at Macquarie when it opened in 1982. In 1986-7, her first season of regular organised competition, she played with the Blacktown City Flames and also in the Bantam league with boys. The Flames became the Sydney Royals women's team based at Canterbury and coached by Steve Green. From 1987 to 1990 she played with the Streatham Strikers in the English Women's League coached by Dominic McGill. She was joined by the Mumma Bears' Julie Elliott for 2 years. The Strikers were British women's champions in 1987-88 and twice runners-up. She also represented South England and was Player of the Match in the North vs South England All-Stars in which her team dominated.

On her return in 1991, she played wing with the Sydney Icemen in a non-contact league at Canterbury and coached the Blacktown Pee Wees. She was banned from playing with boys by the national association in 1992, which was "all a bit of a storm in a teacup". She continued to coach, then in 1993 the Warringah Wild Cats were formed at Narrabeen by Chris Pett with Jenny Dodd as captain. She became player-coach of Canterbury Eagles at the dawn of the state's first women's league. In 1994, she coached Narabeen and Canterbury in the Able Press Cup at Narabeen, a 3-game series against Queensland, combining with Chris Pett. 

In 1995, she won the National Women's Championship (McKowen) representing NSW and moved back to Macquarie where her long-standing friend, Michael King, was coach. "It was paradise — nice big, clean change rooms with clean, hot showers!" In 1996 she again won the McKowen and the Best Defense award. She was a member of the first Australian women's ice hockey team coached by Canadian, Chris Lane, in the  exhibition series against the Assabet Valley women's team. From 1997 she played for the Macquarie women's club coached by Michael King and represented her state until her retirement in 1999 at the age of 34. She had been the "most experienced" women's player in Australia for most her 20-year career.

01. Historical Notes

02. Citation Details

Ross Carpenter, 'Ovenden, Wendy (1965 - )', Legends of Australian Ice, Melbourne, Australia,, accessed online .

04. Citations
Citations | 1 - 280 | 281-on |
G A L L E R YArrows at right scroll the images
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With Penrith Pantherettes

Penrith, Sydney, 1979.

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With Blacktown women's team

Blacktown Ice Rink, Sydney, 1981

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With Blacktown rink coach

Mark Sadgrove and Annette Davis (right), Sydney, 1982.

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Golden Skate memorabilia

Four Season Ice Palace Toombul, Brisbane, October 1982.

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With Streatham Strikers

Women's English League, London, England, 1987.

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AIHF reference

Australian Ice Hockey Federation, 1988.

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England All-Stars

Streatham Round-up magazine, London, England, 1989.

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Considering her future

Blacktown Ice Rink, Sydney, 1992.

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"Wendy gets put on ice"

"Sidelined over her sex" by John Perry. Blacktown Advocate, Sydney, February 12 1992.

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"Wendy back on home ice"

Unidentified newspaper, Sydney, 1995.

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With 1995 National Champions

Inaugural Joan McKowen Trophy, Sydney, 1995.

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With 1996 National Champions,

Joan McKowen Trophy, Canterbury Ice Rink, Sydney, 1996.

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"Don't miss refs getting own back"

Unidentified Sydney newspaper, 1996.

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Hockey CV

Sydney, 1999.

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Annapurna Circuit, Himalayas (Nepal)

Crossing high pass of Thorong-La at 5,416mtrs. Amazing. A favourite.

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On the bow of Maxi Ragamuffin

Whitsunday Islands, Queensland, March 2009.

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With the Australian Tibet Council

Free Tibet, Brisbane.