At the end of their first term at Lydiard Park Academy, the members of the Okanagan Hockey Academy UK (OHA UK) under 16 ice hockey squad have recently received glowing reports from academy teachers and their hockey school manager, demonstrating that the focus and passion they have for their sport is being carried over into the classroom.
Explaining how well the partnership with Lydiard Park Academy is working, OHA UK general manager Steve Nell said: “It’s been a great success. We couldn’t have wished for a better school to partner with. LPA principal Clive Zimmerman and the academic mentor Clive Harding have done an outstanding job in integrating the athletes into the school. All of them and their parents are very happy with the support and leadership shown by the school. We are looking forward to a long and successful partnership in the years ahead.”
There are 13 athletes attending both OHA UK and Lydiard Park Academy, ranging from 12 to 15 years old, including players from the Ukraine, Germany and Hungary. There are also pupils from Scotland and Surrey. All the out of town youngsters are billeted with local families.
Offering an insight into their gruelling training schedule, 14 year old Ukraine-born Simon Kunin, who has played ice hockey since he was two and a half, said: “We are on the ice every morning from 8am to 9.30am, then after school we have off-ice training, including fitness, strength, mental approaches to sport and yoga.”
Commenting on the dedication of the young players, Clive Harding said: “Sports people are very driven and this shows as much in their academic work as in their sports performance. One lad is translating his lesson plans into his native Hungarian, doing the homework, then translating it back to English. It’s a lot of work for someone who didn’t have much of the language before he came, but he’s just achieved an A in his latest science test.”
Twelve year old Mac Howlett, from Guildford, joined the squad in the summer and has enjoyed his first term at Lydiard Park Academy. Describing his ice hockey ambitions Mac said: “I want to play college hockey in the US, then aim for the NHL or the elite Swiss League.”
Affirming his favourable impressions of the youngsters, Clive Harding said: “All the players have an excellent academic and sports attitude. They are great role models for our other young learners.”
Images by Richard Wintle ©Calyx Multimedia, 41, Churchward Avenue, Rodbourne Cheney, Swindon SN2 1NJ • MOB: 07836 205196 www.calyxpix.com
Above, first day at Lydiard Park Academy in September 2012. The hockey players with, from left, Clive Zimmerman, headteacher, Christian Dobbs, head of sport, Clive Harding, academy sports coordinator, Alex Buchalik, sports teacher.
Below, game action at Link Centre. The players wear the Lydiard Park Academy logo on their shoulders. Photos: Richard Wintle www.calyxpix.com