The Nottingham Vikings Ball Hockey side continue their behind-the scenes preparation for the new season, whenever that may be, with the announcement that they have hired a new General Manager, Panthers fanatic and Vikings player, Mike Lee.
In making the announcement on their social media platforms, the Clifton-based club, who only came into existence a few seasons ago, are preparing a blueprint for success to which they outlined below including the successful procurement of much needed funding and how that’ll be distributed about the club.
“First, may I thank you for appointing me as club GM,” began Mike, “I’m proud and determined to help continue building the Vikings ‘brand’ as well as working to develop our club for the future.
“As a start, I am very pleased to announce the completion of some recent work to secure a grant from Sport England, for financial assistance for our club during COVID. I’d especially like to thank Sport England for supporting our club during this time.
“Prior to the current lock down, and during national tier restrictions, socially distanced training (for adults) was made possible by utilising basketball courts and an outdoor Astro Turf pitch, at our local training centre. We are very grateful to FSM for agreeing continued use of this outdoor facility, post lock down. However, a combination of inclement weather and conditions has often made outdoors training especially challenging.
“With this grant, our initial purchases include 40 cold weather training balls, as many of the older orange ‘warm weather’ balls were simply cracking in the low temperatures. We’ve purchased more Bauer XD balls for when we’re able to train indoors, in pods. We have 2 new skills nets, and a weighted, pop-up gazebo specifically for outdoor practice (so that our goalies don’t get their kit soaked through). And some additional coaching items (such as a large coaching boards) so that we can remain socially distanced whilst receiving instruction.
“As a club we’re always taking all possible measures to remain safe and responsible during Covid, but we are also coupling this with creativity in order to maintain our training schedule as much as possible, in accordance with BHUK and government guidance.
“All this means we are as prepared as we can be, with equipment and facilities, for a return to training, when we eventually come out of lock down. I’m hopeful to see you all soon, so we can maximise our potential using this new equipment, in readiness for future game days.”
Still looking like a few months before any kind of actual game-time is registered, it was March 2020 the last time the Viking took court, the only thing keeping the players interested, and active, is that of keeping their fitness levels up, to which working with Dan Powell at the GNR8 Academy is continuing to prove beneficial.
The latest statement from Ball Hockey UK regarding the ongoing situation meanwhile, whilst outlining all levels of the sport, alluding to the uncertainty surrounding, and difficulty within, a return to sport at most levels, said: “It is very difficult to plan for hockey’s return given the rollercoaster of the last three months. It really did feel for a while that we were edging back, but we have done almost a full 360…..
“We are currently at what would normally be the halfway point of the 2020/21 domestic nationals season. It is hard to imagine that there will be much of the normal season remaining when we get back to playing. We will certainly look to the possibility of playing part of the season, or just encouraging local competition via the conferences. The back stop would be a fresh start in September for the 2021/22 season.”
Now it’s the long-awaited restart for the Ball Hockey UK season, whenever that’ll be nobody knows right now, so keep an eye on their socials, and check out The Viking Horn podcast, as they talk about, well everything really.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @NottmVikings the team in all their glory.