The Ice Factor program is an inter school Ice Hockey tournament. It was established in 2005 by Marie Shaw QC to assist schools in their efforts to engage and keep ‘at risk’ students at school. Here at Playford International College we have students from a wide variety of backgrounds taking part in the program, with many starting in their junior years and continuing into their senior years of school.

Our team is the Playford Panthers.

In fact we field two teams in the program. One wears black jerseys for those new to the program, while white jerseys are worn by our more experienced players. Playford has been entering two teams in the competition since 2016. Prior to that, our school was Fremont Elizabeth-City High School (FECHS) and had been part of the program since 2006, playing as the Fremont Elizabeth-City Blue Hawks.

The Ice Factor program has provided our students with the opportunity to take part in a challenging sport that is far different to anything that they have been part of before. Through taking part in their weekly classes and training sessions at the Ice Arena, the students have been able to develop the communication, leadership and teamwork skills that are not only required to build successful teams that can play sport together, but also to use these skills in their everyday lives outside of school. Learning difficult skills like ice skating and how to play ice hockey forges strong bonds among the students where they learn to work together on the ice and in the classroom to become a team that works together and respects each other.

Since 2016 at Playford, we have been able to link Ice Factor into the school curriculum with some students taking part in the program being offered the chance to complete it as a SACE Integrated Learning subject. This course is run by our two Ice Factor teachers and they manage our teams each week. In 2019, we had 12 students gain SACE credits for Ice Factor with a 100% pass rate, and 75% of students gaining a B grade or higher, while in 2020, we’ve had 13 students gain SACE credits in the first half of the year, again with a 100% pass rate. The curriculum focuses on their skill development, game play, tactics, team work, relationships, leadership and communication skills. Along with this, there is a strong focus in the curriculum and throughout Ice Factor on implementing Positive Education and the PERMA Model (Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Achievement) to help improve the wellbeing of all participants.

CLICK HERE to visit the Ice Factor website

Awards and Trophies

The Panthers have continued to build on the success that the Blue Hawks had in the program with the Playford Panthers Black team winning their first title at the Division 3 Tournament in Term 3, 2017, while the Playford Panthers White team won their first title with the Division 2 Tournament in Term 4, 2018.

Below are the titles that our teams have won over the years.

Fremont-Elizabeth-City Blue Hawks Ice Factor Titles

2007 – Division 1 – Term 1

2007 – Division 1 – Term 2

2007 – Division 1 – Term 3

2007 – Division 1 – Term 4

2008 – Division 1 – Term 1

2008 – Division 1 – Term 2

2008 – Division 1 – Term 3

2011 – Division 2 – Term Unknown

2012 – Division 2 – Term 2

Playford Panthers Ice Factor Titles

2017 – Division 3 – Term 3

2018 – Division 2 – Term 4

2020 – Division 2 – Term 3

We have also had students who have been awarded a number of other honour’s across the Ice Factor program over the years. These awards are: 

  • The Don Anderson Perpetual Trophy for demonstrating leadership, advancement in education and generosity to others in the Ice Factor program
  • The Governor’s Award from the Governor of South Australia for demonstrating outstanding leadership, perseverance and respect for others in the Ice Factor program

At the end of each year, an awards ceremony is held for our two Ice Factor teams and trophies are awarded to players in each team in the following categories:

  • Most Improved Player
  • Most Valuable Player in Tournaments
  • Most Goals Scored in Tournaments
  • Best Team Player

Blue Hawk Medal

This medal is awarded to the student who best exemplifies the four school values of our school –

Respect, Collaboration, Perseverance, Growth

Opportunities for Students

The Ice Factor program holds a number of events that the students in the program are able to take part in. Every second year, the Ice Factor Spectacular is held at the Hilton Hotel in Adelaide to raise money for the program. Over 500 guests attend the evening, where a fashion parade is put on by the Ice Factor students modelling clothes from a range of clothing stores across Adelaide. There is also a large auction that is held, and all proceeds raised on the night go towards keeping the Ice Factor program running.

Along with this, the Governor of South Australia holds an annual celebration of the Ice Factor program at Government House in Adelaide’s CBD. The Governor of South Australia is the patron of Ice Factor and this function celebrates the students on the program, and numerous awards are handed out to students who have excelled over the course of the year.

Ice Factor has also provided a wide range of opportunities for our students to undertake. We have had a student receive a scholarship and gain their Certificate II in Construction, which led to their employment in the building industry. A number of students have also represented Australia’s first Indigenous ice hockey team, the Kaurna Boomerangs. These students have travelled to Darwin in 2019 to take part in matches at the Arafura Games, and in 2020 travelled overseas to Canada to play in a series of matches against a Canadian First Nations ice hockey team.

Covid-19 and Ice Factor

In March 2020, the global Covid-19 pandemic impacted the Ice Factor program heavily. The Ice Arena was one of the first sporting facilities that was forced to shut, and the Ice Factor program was postponed indefinitely. At Playford we were able to keep the Ice Factor program running at school through our Ice Factor managers running life skills lessons on leadership, communication skills and the importance of teamwork, as well as completing hockey training sessions and games on our outdoor tennis courts.

By running Ice Factor at school during Covid-19, our students have been able to stay connected with their teammates and work together to get through this challenging time. At the end of the term, we ran our own end of term tournament by holding a street hockey match on our tennis courts. The Playford Black and Playford White teams had their first competitive match in over six months and played out a closely fought match. Playford White got off to a great start, getting to a 2-0 lead early on. By half time Playford White led 4-2. In the second half, Playford Black started to play well and began to dominate the game as they scored quickly. As the game ticked into its final minute, Playford Black scored again, but it wasn’t enough as the final whistle blew after 40 minutes of highly competitive and skillful hockey with Playford White winning 6-5.

Sponsors and Acknowledgments

We would like to thank our sponsors who have supported our Ice Factor teams at Playford since 2016 to ensure that we are able to take part in the program every week. It would not be possible without your continued support.

the Wyatt Trust

Thank you to the Wyatt Trust who have sponsored our transport for many years. Without your annual support we would not be able to travel from Elizabeth to the Ice Arena every week. We would like to thank them for this commitment to support our school, the Ice Factor program and the students who take part in it.

the Van Diemen Foundation

Our jerseys have been supplied by the Van Diemen Foundation. In 2020, they have again sponsored us so we are able to purchase some new jerseys to replace our older ones and make sure that all of our players have their own jersey to wear.

Clubs SA

Our ice hockey equipment has been provided by Clubs S.A. When we introduced a second team in 2016, Clubs SA supplied us with new equipment so that we were able to get the second team out on the ice.

The support that all of these organisations have shown to us over the years has provided amazing opportunities for all of our students to be a part of a program and sport that they love, and which helps to engage them with their schooling.

Along with the help from our sponsors, the Ice Factor program could not go ahead at Playford without the support that our teachers provide to our students to ensure that everyone is ready to take part each week. Over the years at Playford, Kimberly Walker, Jesse Rogerson, Leah Van Zyl and Rachel Gregor have all been a part of the program at different points, and have played an integral part in ensuring that the program continues to run and provide these opportunities for our students.

And finally we acknowledge the support of Marie Shaw, Sami Mantere and all of the coaches who have worked with our students since 2016 to create a safe, caring and fun environment. Students are able to learn, develop and grow as individuals and as a team. It is this group of coaches and mentors that inspire our students to keep coming back each week and to be a part of Ice Factor.


Playford International College