By Stacey Turnbull
A Sheffield University student has bagged himself a place competing at the 2017 World University Games in Kazakhstan.
Max Gerstein, 20, has secured a place to play ice hockey for Team GB and believes the experience will be “unreal”.
The first year economics student is looking forward to developing his ice hockey career.
The World University Games, or Winter Universaide as they are also known, will take place from January 29 to February 8.
Max, who is a member of the Sheffield Bears played during the ice hockey varsity final against Sheffield Hallam in front of over 7,000 spectators which broke records for being the largest ice hockey varsity attendance outside of North America.
But in 2017, the World University Games could reach an audience of up to a billion people.
Max has been playing ice hockey since the age of five and cannot wait to start his new venture.
He said: “I’ve never played in front of such a huge crowd before”.
Ice hockey is just one of the sports involved, alongside figure skating, snowboarding, curling and biathlon.
Max said: “They are spending I think a billion pounds on it because they want to run for the winter Olympics in a couple of years’ time, so they are going to use this tournament to say look, we can do it”.
Kazakhstan were beaten by Beijing in the bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics last year.