Junior League Management Committee (JLMC) chair, Jacqueline Pye, is delighted to announce that Scottish Ice Hockey have accepted the EIHA’s invitation to send the best Scottish ten-year-old players to take part in the JLMC’s next Power of Ten (PO10) camp.
“We know that SIH and the EIHA can work together, we just need to look at the Conference Tournament which has been our best collaboration for the past 22 years,” Jacqueline said.
“I see the Power of Ten initiative as a simple extension to the good work the two Associations are already doing together and I believe it will benefit the sport and not just the kids taking part.”
The Power of Ten was introduced by the JLMC in December last year and took its cue from the British Athletics programme which was set up to inspire, motivate and improve British athletes as part of the investment being made by UK Sport. Although junior ice hockey does not fall under the remit of British Athletics, the aims and objectives of the Power of Ten apply equally to ice hockey as they do to athletics.
Making the move to join up with the JLMC’s programme Scottish Ice Hockey chairman, David Hand, was also very supportive and said: “Scottish Ice Hockey is just as interested as our counterparts in the EIHA to see development of our youngest players.
“For some time now we have been working with players from across the water in Northern Ireland and I hope that we can bring even more levels of enthusiasm for working together with the JLMC and the England Coaching Staff.
“I know that our U11 coach was delighted to receive the invitation and has already committed to attend the camp in February. I think it will be a significant step towards greater unity and that must be seen as a good thing.”
The JLMC turned to the England National Team Programme to help launch the PO10 initiative and the first event held at ice Sheffield just before Christmas was seen as a huge success with players, parents and coaches. Leading the on ice activities was England Head Coach, Ben Pitchley who said. “We have many good people involved in the various EIHA junior programmes and one of the issues we have recognised with the National Team Programme is the need to encourage greater collaboration so that we can secure more joined‐up thinking across the Clubs and Conferences.
“We know that Ice Hockey UK, the EIHA and SIH have ambitions to move our sport forward together and we also know that forging sustainable links between the Clubs, Conferences and Governing Bodies is not as easy as it might sound. We have to start somewhere and I thought the PO10 programme was the best idea I we had considered.
“Now that Scotland has accepted our invitation to join the programme I would like to think that we will see the best ten-year-old players in the UK in Sheffield in February which is another huge step forward for the sport. I think we are all now eager to see more developments like this one going forward.”
Pitchley has once again turned to the Conference Mentor Coaches and the Conference u11 Head Coaches to help select the top nine players from each of the five conferences.
Unfortunately this means that three players from each of the North, Midlands, South East and South West Conferences who were included in the original PO10 camp last December will be cut as the programme has been designed to accommodate only forty players and four netminders. Due to there being five conferences the netminder positions have been extended to include the additional goalie.
This will be a big disappointment to the previous participants who are not successful this time and this point is not lost on England General Manager Gary Apsley
He said: “We know that most, if not all, of the kids who attended our event in December loved the chance of making that next step on the EIHA’s Elite Player pathway. As did the staff and the Conference coaches. We would be delighted to be able to offer a return visit for all of those players but unfortunately there is a limit to the number we can accommodate in the programme.”
Jacqueline Pye added: “I’ve been looking at the U13, U11 and U9 age groups both individually and collectively and I am working hard with my JLMC colleagues to roll out as many new initiatives as the current level of central funding will allow. Over the coming weeks people will see new regional events forU9, U11 and U13’s and my aim is to try and get these new plans rolled out across the country before the end of the season.”
The Power of Ten camp will run alongside the England U13 Development camp at ice Sheffield on Thursday 16th February 2017 starting at 6:30am and concluding at 10:00pm. There will be four camps running simultaneously with more than 100 players and twenty coaches taking part.