Moray Juniors Ice Hockey Club is thriving
Get a digital copy of the Northern Scot delivered straight to your inbox every week
ICE hockey is a fast-paced, all-action sport that is exciting to watch live, so imagine how exhilarating it is to play?
Junior ice hockey in Moray is thriving 28 years after it was first introduced at Moray Leisure Centre – the only ice rink in the area.
With more than 80 children aged from five to 18 playing the sport locally, the Moray Juniors Ice Hockey Club is in good health.
The under-14 team were in Scottish Ice Hockey Association action against their rivals from Dumfries, Solway Sharks on Saturday night.
The Moray side competed well against a team with more training and match experience.
The under-14s are the only team playing in a national league at present,however, secretary Kathy Grant revealed there are hopes to enter teams at U11, U13, U15 and U18 level next season, given the high number of boys and girls playing the sport at the club.
“Transport is the real nightmare,” she said, “and transport costs are killing us.”
The club is exploring all avenues to bring down the cost of travelling the country to play ice hockey in order to give as many children as possible experience of playing in a league.
Under the guidance of head coach Rob Ferguson, a team of volunteer coaches put the children through their paces at every age level on a Thursday night from 5.15pm.
“The learn to play children are first on at 5.15pm and then every other age group after that,” added Grant.
A number of talented teenagers are on the ice every week and could form the core of a solid under-18 team next season.
“We try and get enough players from clubs in Inverness and Aberdeen to form a couple of lines to play games.”
In the recent past, the Moray Typhoons played in the senior Scottish National League but the team folded due to young players leaving the area.
“We are very healthy at junior level and getting new players join us every week,” said Grant.
“We are hoping next year to have a team at every age level. We have a lot of coaches.”
The biggest challenge is finding enough ice time for training and games at home, with curling and figure skating also very popular in Moray.
The coaching team have also introduced off-ice conditioning sessions to help the children get in shape to play the sport.
The speed of the game makes it an excellent way for youngsters to get fitter and boost their confidence by developing their skills.
New members are welcome on a Thursday night.