The first time Trinity St John saw broomball was also the first time she played. Her boyfriend’s team needed more women, so St John agreed to give it a go and joined the Blood Shots for a game. That was about 15 years ago, and St John has been playing ever since—sometimes on multiple teams in a single winter.
Broomball, as St John describes it, is “a mix between hockey and lacrosse on ice and with tennis shoes.” She embraces the precision the sport requires. “There is absolutely not room for any errors,” she says. “That’s what I love about it.”
Her childhood in Jackson served her well in broomball. Growing up, St John’s parents worked for the National Park Service, and the family moved from the Outer Banks of North Carolina to Moran when she was 10. She grew used to exercising at altitude and in the cold; sometimes her teams play when the temperature is 0 degrees.
St John also had the adventurous Jackson spirit to propel her along on the ice. She guided whitewater trips on the Snake River for several seasons, and riding her longboard down Ski Hill Road near Grand Targhee Resort was once a favorite activity. She also has experience both in aid and ice climbing. Broomball is another sport that can be just as adrenaline pumping.
“It’s pretty dangerous,” she says. Once, she took a broomball stick to the face—although she was luckily wearing a helmet with a face mask at the time.
The sport is also strategic. “Because it’s really unpredictable you have to play smart,” St John says. “And you can’t move really quickly on the ice in tennis shoes.”
The strategy aspect led her to learn how to use the ice, or even someone else sliding on it, to make a play. She learned to head for the boards that line the rink and use a corner for purchase to push off for more speed.
Some winters St John plays on two teams, one in the recreation league and one in the competitive division. Last winter, due to health issues, she couldn’t play at all. She missed the competition and her team, but she also missed the intense workouts. “You can snowboard all day, but it’s a lot of work to play broomball for an hour,” she says. “It’s full on sprinting.”
She’s looking forward to getting back on the ice this year with her current team, The One Dollar Sweeps.
When she’s not on the ice, St John performs with the band Hott Pass and is part of a duet called Champagne Galaxy. She’s also an avid snowboarder and runs an organic microgreen farm called S and S Farm where she grows plants like pea shoots and edible flowers.
Through the nonprofit she co-founded, Teton Botanical Gardens, she helps local schools build gardens as part of the National Farm to School Network. On her days off, she likes to go fishing with her 10-year-old son, Romeo. And of course she loves to play broomball whenever she can.