Hidden inside one of Glasgow’s busiest shopping centres is a world of ice-cold competition.

Hundreds of fans line the stands, huddled together in a sea of purple and waiting in anticipation for the lights of Braehead Arena to dim.

When they do, their cheers are deafening.

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The lights and sounds of the arena are not what you would expect to find in a shopping centre food court; the gates at the entrance could very well have been the wooden wardrobe doors to Narnia.

But instead of centaurs and white witches, the magic lies in the sparks flying from the ice skates of the Glasgow Clan.

I’m not particularly ashamed to admit that I don’t have the best relationship with sports. My history with running more than ten seconds extends solely to memories of secondary school dodgeball and praying that P.E was cancelled indefinitely.

Watching sports games bears a similar story. The soaking trek to BT Murrayfield in Edinburgh was almost worth it when Scotland beat Argentina last year. Almost.

And yet, while watching Glasgow Clan take on Manchester Storm on Saturday, I found myself almost permanently on my feet.

It wasn’t the schoolyard match that I was expecting to find at an ice hockey game, but rather a full-scale production, complete with standing for the national anthem, a half-time show and the most incredible soundtrack the audience could hope for.

The first ten minutes were rather difficult to keep up with. The way the players darted around each other, all the while maintaining their grace and a firm grip on their hockey sticks was mesmerising, and I would constantly lose sight of the puck in the flurry of movement.

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But with the constant warnings of the announcer and the sight of the glass pane in front of me, littered with tiny-puck shaped indents, I quickly learned to train my eyes on the flying rubber.

The next 20 minutes flew by – literally. The speed at which the players travelled was incredible.

It was disheartening when the opposing team scored the opening goal. But the downtrodden feeling was minimal compared to the complete euphoria that ripped through the crowd when Glasgow Clan scored their first point.

For someone who has never held an affiliation for any sports team, I found myself enamoured with the feeling of collectiveness within the audience. People next to me were turning around and shouting excitedly about who had just scored, how good the goal was and God, didn’t that fall look painful?

I had been told before heading to the game that ice hockey could get rather violent. As someone who flinches at the toaster, it really should not have come as a surprise that most of my time was spent clutching my chair and wondering how much compensation these guys were really entitled to.

The puck was in permanent limbo between two players for what seemed like hours, when actually it had been mere seconds. The pair were pressed up against the wall, battling for possession to break the tie that was gripping the teams.

On more than one occasion, players were sprawled out on the ice, having tumbled in their pursuit. In seconds, they would be back on their feet, ready to reignite the chase as though nothing had happened.

From my limited sports knowledge, I was expecting a stretcher to be pulled out for every fall, shove or collision; but hockey players are made of strong stuff, as it turns out.

It took me 17 minutes to figure out what a penalty meant, and a further two to realise that whoever was controlling the soundboard was playing the Imperial March from Star Wars every time someone was sent off.

Michael Jackson’s Beat It blared through the speakers when the opposing team scored, and a foul move resulting in a penalty was fittingly met with The Clash’s I Fought the Law.

The crowd was another surprise. Older groups, young couples and families with small children were decked in purple, waving oversized foam fingers above their heads and chanting.

Competitions ran through the game offering signed hockey sticks, cash and a shirt taken off the back of one of the players.

The night was only made sweeter when Glasgow Clan took home a victory of 6-4, leaving fans on an all-time high as they left the arena to begin the journey home.

It’s impossible to determine a favourite moment; was it the cheap pints, the adorable little girl dancing in the seat next to mine when the Clan scored, or when team captain Zack Fitzgerald zoomed around the arena with his baby in his arms when the match was over?

Whatever the draw, they certainly managed to make a hockey fan out of a very unsporty student.

For more Clan fixtures visit their website