August 1, 2018
The first England camp of the 18/19 season took place in Cardiff last weekend at the Ice Arena Wales complex with 138 players attending at U13 – U14 – U15.
After two very long days of on ice training and games, off ice classroom sessions and fitness sessions the players were very tired as they filed out into their waiting cars for the journey home.
ENTP director Geoff Hemmerman said: “I would like to thank Ice Arena Wales for pulling out all the stops to make the camp happen at very short notice due to logistical issues with hotels in Deeside. Everyone had an enjoyable weekend at a wonderful facility and with players were really challenged on and off the ice.
“The ENTP can not happen without a huge effort from everyone involved. New GM Chris Benson has only been in the role a very few short weeks but did a great job behind the scenes. Ben Pitchley our head coach also pulled out all the stops along with his coaching team. Our managers did a great job with players and staff with the usual professional support from our sports therapists – a true team effort from everyone.
“For me I felt we had two really good parent meetings which were an opportunity to ask about the programme and anything else ice hockey related. This always puts me on the spot but that’s good and it is chance to share our vision for not just now but also the future of ice hockey.
“The highlights of the camp on Saturday saw Mark Richardson of Cardiff Devils and Great Britain call in and speak with the players about what it takes to play at the highest level and Sunday saw Ben Bowns, Cardiff Devils and Great Britain goalie, not only address the goalies but take three session with all age players from all age groups.
“For me Ben’s sessions were incredibly powerful using examples from not only Cardiff but from the the last world championships where he spoke about compete level, mental toughness, focus and everything else it takes to play and succeed at the highest level.
“To the players listening – if this did not motivate and inspire you to be the best you can be in ice hockey you are in the wrong sport!
“It’s also important that we do not forget the parents – without the support they give their children we not be able to build for the future. Thank you to one and all.”
Head coach Ben Pitchley added: “Just a quick thank you from the coaches to everyone that made the trip to Cardiff and took part in the camp
“There was a lot of talent on show out there and the players did everything they were asked to do during the two days.
“For the parents that are new to this process hopefully you now have a better insight as to what the ENTP is all about. For all the parents, we need you to keep on empahsising the discipline standards to your children – they should be role models at their club and always lead by example whatever the setting.
“The England staff look forward to working with the players throughout the season, and seeing these groups again in October.”
The ENTP moves focus this coming month to the new UK Womens Development programme, launched last month in conjunction with Great Britain’s women programme. Girls born 2003-2009 registered with EIHA or SIH are eligible to attend the u13 or u16 camp and work with England and GB staff at a two-day camp in Sheffield.
Full details are on the ENTP Team App – www.eiha.teamapp.com.