The Ulster University Elks Women’s Hockey Club is based Ulster University. The club is open to all and we currently field four senior teams and two junior teams through our Ulster Elks Hockey Academy.
The Irish elk was one of the largest deer that ever lived. Its range extended across Eurasia, and the latest known remains of the species have been carbon dated to about 11,000 years ago. Its common name Irish elk is misleading as the animal was not exclusively Irish, but legend has it that the last sighting of the Irish elk was in Ulster.
Consequently the Irish elk was the official emblem of the Ulster College of Physical Education (UCPE) for girls, which was established in 1956 and was the first education institution on the current Jordanstown site.
It was tradition for second year students to present a bronze elk pin to each new first year student. The elk was selected not only because it represented strength and agility (which are great sporting attributes) but also because it’s last sighting was in Ulster, thus connecting it to the UCPE.
In the following years, the University continued to use the elk on its coat of arms and so the link with the “Ulster Elk” is still there. It is therefore befitting for University Sports Clubs to adopt the symbolism of the “Ulster Elk” which is not only a new step forward in developing university sport but also very much in keeping with tradition and the roots of sport at the university.
Hockey in particular at Jordanstown is steeped in history and in fact players of the UCPE (the very first Ulster Elks) helped found a number of hockey clubs across Ulster such as Pegasus.