Former Irish hockey star Nicci Daly hung up her hockey stick back in December, and now, she’s trying her hand at a brand new sports league.
ESkootr Championship is an electric scooter racing series that is made up of 10 three person teams racing in various cities across the world. The championship ranks racers individually, and also as a team based on scores the racers receive each race. The higher a racer places, the higher the score they receive.
This inaugural season finds racers from various different countries and sporting backgrounds.
“They were really looking to create a diverse pool of riders, so they wanted people from different sporting backgrounds,” said Daly. “I went to a test day at the beginning of the year, and after that they offered me a contract to race. It was kind of totally unexpected but I was kind of thrilled about it initially, and still am. I'm loving it. It's great. It's a different kind of rush.”
The jump from hockey to motorsports may seem jarring to some, but Daly comes from a motorsports family. Her uncle, Derek Daly, is a former Irish race car driver, and his son—Nicci Daly’s cousin—Conor Daly is a current American race car driver.
Conor Daly has raced under the Carlin brand dating back to 2011, and now, Nicci Daly gets to compete under the same name.
“It's sort of a long-standing relationship between Carlin and the Daly family,” said Daly. “It is really cool that I get to continue that tradition.”
Daly competes for Carlin in the eSkootr Championship alongside Anish Shetty (India) and Danny Skinner (UK), and just two races into the season, the Carlin team is ranked 1st.
Hockey and eSkootr are two very different sports with very different physical demands, but Daly is still able to apply some skills she used in hockey over to the world of motorsports.
“You can bring a mindset. You can bring how you approach getting on the scooter,” said Daly. “I think that's probably the biggest thing that you can bring across—everything that you've learned mentally and your experience in general when it comes to competing.”
The eSC focuses on providing “micro-mobility solutions to a society searching for a smarter, cleaner tomorrow.” The company focuses on three main components: sustainability, safety and accessibility.
“They want to make it accessible, diverse and affordable because motorsport in general is quite expensive,” said Daly. “They have this plan to grow a grassroots program so young kids can come and start to develop on these scooters.”
As of right now, the season holds four more races through October, and the next race will be July 15-16 in Italy.
“It's nice to be able to start in a new sport as well where there's no expectation and there's no pressure,” said Daly. “I've just enjoyed that challenge of just seeing what the next day brings, and how much I can improve today.”