Haringey Hounds head coach was delighted to be back in action prior to second lockdown
- Credit: Archant
Haringey Hounds head coach George Dragomir said he was ‘delighted’ that his players had returned to training at Alexandra Palace, although the latest news from the government could see them forced to stop once again.
“Covid meant kids were glued to screens and now they can at last get their skates back on,” said Dragomir, who admitted he wants to keep expanding the club after some great league, tournaments and National Championship wins in the previous season.
“Our kids had Zoom training during lockdown, which was good for fitness, but back on the ice means kids are off the streets from all over North London and chasing their ice hockey dreams.
“The kids were delighted to be back seeing their friends, albeit exhausted after the sessions.”
Indeed, the new rules and restrictions resulted in more ice sessions with fewer players on the ice at the same time, but league games and tournaments are off the agenda for now.
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However, the girls’ team is eager to be back playing games and as soon as the season is up and running again, defending their wins at the National Finals – another first for the club.
Despite the ongoing pandemic, the club is true to its mission ‘to offer players and parents an ice hockey club that balances fun and competition for all ages and skill levels’, in which it strongly believes.
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The club has gone through hoops to get in line with ever-changing Covid rules, and with support from the Palace has managed to get 100 girls and boys back into ice hockey.
“It’s been an organisational feat,” said club secretary Dariya Glazer.
With the ice rink being a public space and the sport traditionally contact-based, the club have tweaked the playing rules and are making the best use of the chance to return to training.
With more than 100 players, the club has been adhering to the strict rules set out by the government and the national hockey association.
It has taken years of building the club up but the hard work paid off in 2018 when Haringey’s under-11s won the South East league and attended the National Finals in Sheffield.
It was the first time any of the Haringey Hounds junior teams had won the South East League and competed at the National Finals which is attended by the winners of each regional division in the UK.
The National Finals was a good challenge for the team which managed to get to the bronze match where they lost against a very strong Manchester Storm team.
Since then, the Hounds have sent teams to Sheffield every year with similar success, and players have also been chosen for regional teams and to represent GB at international tournaments.
Coach Dragomir wants the club to become the best in England and has a deep pool of coaches to help him achieving the goals.
Although the main objective of the club is to bring more children the joy of playing ice hockey; to provide physical and social development and fun in the safe environment for young girls and boys.
They also participate in tournaments in the UK and across Europe in normal circumstances including Luxembourg, Finland and Sweden.
The Hounds have teams at all age groups as well as under-16 girls – the age of the players spanning from four to 18 years split up in unisex under-nine, under-11, under-13, under-15 and under-18 teams.