We are Family.

A term I sometimes see thrown about on social media is #HockeyFam or #GiantsFam. According to dictionary.com, one of the definitions of family is:

“a group of people who are generally not blood relations but who share common attitudes, interests, or goals and, frequently, live together”

No, we don’t all live together, but as fans we do share common interests and attitudes.

I reached out to the Giants fan community to hear what they have to say about what the fan base means to them and what it means to be part of the ‘Giant’s Family’…

For some, it’s about the friendships created…

Stephen

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For others, it’s the love of the game and the involvement of both players and fans…

Stoops

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For some, it’s getting away from the politics of Northern Ireland and being considered an equal…

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For other fans, it’s as simple as watching the sport, downing a few drinks and using their voices…

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Some hate the idea of being branded a ‘family’…

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But for others, there is a far deeper meaning behind the hashtags…

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I have been going to the giants, for 18 years. Since I was 6 years old. When I was a teenager and my friends were out drinking getting into trouble, I was at hockey. A lot of the time I didn’t understand hockey, but it was the family feeling that kept me coming back. Where I grew up there as a massive protestant and catholic divide, but at hockey it didn’t matter who you were, everyone was accepted.
I have met so many wonderful friends through hockey that have made a huge difference to my life. Two years ago, I met the love of my life through hockey. I know that if anything happened to me, that I would have immense support from the hockey family, that is the Giants fan base.
I know a lot of fans from around the league, and apart from Cardiff there is no hockey family that even comes close to the supportiveness of our fan base. – Kirstin Kathryn

And for some? For some it’s about keeping that little piece of home when they’re thousands of miles away…

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So the general consensus is that being part of the ‘Giants Family’ is the idea of everyone being welcomed as an equal, about the friends and connections you make, celebrating with new people week in, week out and the support network the fan base provides.

For me, its all about the people I’ve come to know and the support network that came with it. When I set foot in the area for a game, I feel at home and I, for one, am proud to be considered ‘one of the family’.

A big thank you to the fans for their response and letting me use them in this blog! Some wished to remain anonymous therefore some names have been removed.

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