Sheffield Steelkings Para Ice Hockey Club
Sheffield Steelkings Para Ice Hockey Club does a fantastic job of offering people a chance to take part in the sport in a safe and enjoyable environment. Sport in Profile Magazine recently caught up with Club Representative Jake Oakley to find out more.
He told us, “We’ve just had our third season and I’ve been with the club since they were founded. I enjoy having the opportunity to give back to be honest; it is nice to be able to help run a team where disability doesn’t stand in the way of playing the sport of ice hockey.”
“We’ve just had our most successful season having finished third in the league. Unfortunately, we’ve lost one player that emigrated and have suffered a couple of injury setbacks as well which is a bit of a shame. Overall though we’re pleased with how the year has gone and are already turning our attention towards preparing for 2018.
“We’re always on the lookout for new players – it is what we do as a club. We’re effectively a minority sport within a minority sport so we have to work hard to attract new faces. There’s nothing better than team sports for bringing people together from different backgrounds and we work hard to build a strong team spirit here.
“This is a fast and physical sport which is admittedly not for everybody but the ones that do enjoy it really love it. If you’re alright with working hard, playing hard and enjoying yourself then this is the sport for you. There is a lot of hard work involved but if you do get it right then the rewards are very high.
“We always welcome new people to the club; just get in touch either through our website or social media channels. We have spare kit that we can loan out whilst people try the sport out and even offer free ice time the first couple of times so it doesn’t cost anything to try out. By that point people will start to get an idea of whether or not it is a sport for you. If you show an interest and commitment to us we’ll try to repay that by giving you the best opportunities possible.
“We want to continue to grow our team and the support it receives. Obviously we want the usual clichés of winning every game but we also want people to know that we exist basically. We want to attract new people down here that are hungry to play a physical, fast and passionate sport.
“We do want to be a team that wants to win games but also want to promote the fact that this sport is out there because there is not much known about it and it can really make a difference in people’s lives.
“Off ice the biggest challenge for us is the expense; it costs around £1000 to get an individual player into a sledge. That’s not to scare anyone from getting into the sport but it can be difficult to get the top equipment. We’re fortunate to have achieved a couple of different grants to allow us to establish the club and we need to continue to be proactive.
“We are a team that wants to develop and wants to challenge for silverware and that’s our goal. Five years from now I’m hoping that we are on the same path as now; we have a good group of players, a great set of off-ice helpers that do great work here and we’re happy with the set up that we have. I’m hoping that we continue our good work whilst growing, attracting new players and hopefully challenging for a league title.”
To find out more please visit our website: www.sheffieldsteelkings.co.uk