This weekend sees the latest gathering of the Scottish girls ice hockey development programme.
Following a hugely successful season launch at Lanarkshire Lightning’s Time Capsule home last November, Dumfries Ice Bowl will host the second session on Sunday.
The programme has been refocused on the development of core skills to help the larger number of younger aged girls who have joined the development pathway.
Scottish Ice Hockey aims to develop the youngsters into established players on their respective teams, as well as look for opportunities to come together to represent their nation at selected events in the future.
It is hoped that the girls will continue to progress to the Great Britain U18 and ladies senior squads as has been demonstrated by others over the past few months.
The current set-up sees girls as young as eight-years-old attend and hone their skills. This compliments the training already on offer at their local clubs.
The current coaching team of Solway’s Jamie Kerr and Mo Muir, along with Kirkcaldy’s Sean Annan and Beth Milne, are excited at the potential within Scotland and are hoping the foundations being built will progress to a more prominent and progressive pathway in future seasons.
“The girls are a very enthusiastic group, both from the relative new starts right through to our established players,” said Kerr. “It is hoped that as the months progress along with the skills these girls will develop, increasing quality will be further boosted by increased quantity.
“Ice hockey is still a minority sport here, but there is so much potential for young female players from club levels to join this evolving Scottish national set-up right through to becoming part of Cheryl Smith and her coaching team’s advancing Great Britain programme.
“Some of last year’s Scotland girls U16 team were recently selected to represent GB U18 ladies and it was a fantastic experience for them to travel to Spain followed by the IIHF World Championships in Poland.
“Such selections are a result of the hard work and dedication these girls apply to their sport, and it is our responsibility to supply them with the opportunities to develop the required skills they need.
“This gives them the chance of reaching these lifetime experiences that they can take into their later years, as well as pushing the more establish girls.”
Any Scottish registered female players that have not already done so and wish to receive information about upcoming national development days should email Michelle Mitchell to receive updates.
The next session is scheduled for Sunday, 25th February.