Ice hockey: Week of fun on ice and in surf

Christchurch ice hockey player Harry Louw (9) shows his shooting technique in front of coach Janos Kaszala at a training camp at the Dunedin Ice Stadium. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Christchurch ice hockey player Harry Louw (9) shows his shooting technique in front of coach Janos Kaszala at a training camp at the Dunedin Ice Stadium. Photo by Peter McIntosh.

When the world under-20 championships were held in Dunedin a year ago, the players relaxed in the surf at St Kilda Beach.

The 35 budding Ice Blacks attending a development camp in the city this week have been given the same chance to enjoy the Pacific rollers.

The camp, which alternates between Auckland and Dunedin each January, was based at the Dunedin Ice Stadium.

''It is a camp for kids under 16,'' Dunedin coach Paris Heyd said.

''This year, the youngest is aged 8 and the oldest 14.''

Heyd was 15 when he joined the national league and he has had a distinguished career with the Ice Blacks. He was the first New Zealand ice hockey representative to play professionally in a European league when he played in France last year. The purpose of the camp is to develop ice hockey skills on and off the ice.

''We have explained the structures of the game to the players and also talked about nutrition,'' Heyd said.

A key feature of the week was the international skills test that tested players on their agility, speed and passing accuracy. But it has not all been hard work on the ice or in the classroom for the players.

There have been fun times on the beach, swimming at Moana Pool and the St Clair Salt Water Pool. The players also attended a movie.

Dunedin Thunder coach Janos Kaszala was the head coach and the other coaches were Heyd and Aucklanders Jonathan Albright and Dean Tonks.