There’s something of a murmuring, a rumour, maybe even a slight indication blowing around Clifton, and beyond, that the new mascot of the Nottingham Vikings Ball Hockey side, is in fact that of their new Strength & Conditioning Coach, Dan Powell.
In running the GNR8 Academy in nearby Leicester, Dan, a London 2012 Olympian, and British Champion, has a number of years’ experience within the sporting world, competing, and coaching.
Now he’s been seen to turn his to that of Ball Hockey, and, having given the club a ‘helping hand’ over the past year or so, it was only a matter of time before joined forces with Coach Tring, and Captain Allen, et al.
“It’s really good fun working with them, and another string to my endless escapades,” began the Vikings S&C Coach, Dan Powell.
“It all stemmed from my having known Pete (Allen) for a few years prior, and during my sports massage session with him and his wife; that led to my heading over to see what it was they do, and it’s gone from there.
“When I did come on-board, just over a year ago, it was just for a few gym sessions, but there was an overall consensus that the team was generally unfit, and, although we’ve been through these lockdowns, we still thought we’d look at it giving it a real good go.”
Speaking of those lockdowns, and that of an ongoing, global pandemic, which has brought the world, at times, to a standstill, several sporting disciplines are still playing catch-up, ball hockey included.
It’s been some time as well since ball hockey last saw any competitive action, it could well be a little while longer as well when you factor in the UK Government’s so-called, roadmap ‘masterplan.’
“It is now just a case of seeing how the team are on a game-day,” explained Dan.
“I’m a competitive individual myself (multi-disciplined including Judo and Athletics), so we’ll see what happens then, but I’m learning the sport from scratch myself, a new game, different terminology which, to a point, is also Americanised.
“The training sessions though, they’ve been split into the three thirds in which a game is, whilst setting them challenges each time, and seeing how long it takes them using my own experiences as benchmarks.”
However, even with all that is going on in the world around them, Powell believes that the Vikings will be, and are, ready to go, when that call to arms sounds that is.
“I’m excited myself, as I’ve never actually been to a ball hockey game before,” added Dan.
“I’m only going off what I’ve seen (on video) but it looks fun, and I’ll help scare them to victory.
“They want to win, especially after all the effort they’ve put in over the past year.”
As for Horny the Viking, the clubs’ new mascot, is there a connection between the two – the timing of both their official arrivals was, after all, scarily close.
“If we win the league this season, I may way the mascot uniform then,” laughed Dan – unwilling to go any further on the matter.
Although, the statement from the Vikings alludes a little further, they saying: “We are delighted to welcome Dan Powell to the Nottingham Vikings. Dan has accepted the role of Strength & Conditioning Coach, and will be instrumental on game days, as well as continuing to develop the team during training.
“Dan’s résumé is impressive. As owner of the GNR8 Academy, his vision is to support young people succeed in their chosen sporting careers. This is born from extensive personal experience, including representation for Great Britain in Judo at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London and ongoing preparation for the forthcoming Tokyo games.
“He has a degree in Personal Training and a diploma in Sport’s Massage and has worked as a personal trainer and gym instructor at Loughborough Leisure Centre in England, before founding GNR8.
“Dan is passionate about driving the Vikings to success, and has been working tirelessly on training, nutritional plans, pre-game routines and, of course, strength and fitness.
“Finally, and most crucially, Dan has promised to wear a suitable mascot’s costume, dependent of our placing at the end of the season. The winner of the mascot competition is yet undecided, so he may end up half naked, dressed as a female or covered in fur.”
The plot most certainly thickens on that one…..
Keep up-to-date with all the goings on with the Nottingham Vikings ahead of the new season (TBA) via their Facebook or Twitter and website nottmvikings.com whilst GNR8 Academy can be found via gnr8academy.com.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @NottmVikings Dan Powell Strength & Conditioning Coach of Nottingham Vikings.