Get Involved in Ice Hockey

Find out how Ice Hockey is growing in popularity

Last Updated: 30/11/12 5:37pm

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Sky Bet

Sky Sports News takes a skate into the world of ice hockey to discover what the sport has to offer.

Many have the sport pigeon-holed as a vehicle for physical violence and machismo, but several people involved with UK-based ice hockey disagree with the perception.

Ryan Finnerty of the Sheffield Steelers told Get Involved: "From the outside looking in, it's pretty barbaric but it doesn't happen as often as people think. It is part of the game and it has always been part of the game."

Geoff Sykora, Oxford Stars Director of Coaching added: "There's an old adage that people went to a boxing match and an ice hockey game broke out but in general it's not really the case.

"For parents to get kids involved, you can get started for not much money. If you talk to people at the club, they'll know kids that have grown out of stuff so it shouldn't be something that dissuades you from starting hockey."

Sheffield is the hub of the sport in England, and Andre Payette is in charge of the Sheffield Steelers Hockey Academy, which aims to bring the British youth to a sport that is traditionally prevalent in North America.

Payette said: "The youngsters don't play with any contact. There's no hitting allowed and with all that padding on, they're quite well protected. They're quite fearless at that age anyway so they're not scared at all.

"The one problem we have with ice hockey unfortunately is that it's very expensive. The ice time and the kit. It's not like we can go out on the field and just throw a ball around - you have to pay for it all.

"We have a grant from Sport England but we're always looking for more funding. If the kids are in here and having fun then they're not out on the streets."

For more information visit:

Ice Hockey UK

The Elite League

Oxford Stars

Sheffield Steelers

Sheffield Ice Hockey Academy

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