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Youth Programme Blazing Along

Coventry Blaze are hoping to see several city kids play for the senior side after reporting huge success in their youth development scheme.

The top-flight ice-hockey side already have nearly 130 youngsters on their books despite launching the scheme at Coventry Skydome just eight weeks ago.

Now, youth development chairman Grant Charman is hoping that the club's investment in the future will lead to local talent making it all the way to the top of the English game.

He said:

"There is a thriving junior league system across the country and our aim is to have teams playing in that by the start of the 2002 season.

"The response in Coventry has been phenomenal and other clubs we have spoken to could not believe that we had so many young players on the books already.

"Our junior team is somewhat unique in the fact that it is so closely affiliated with the senior side - often that is not the case.

"In Coventry however, the senior coach Paul Thompson actually takes all the training sessions, and as Thommo is the assistant coach for Great Britain they could not really be in better hands.

"Certainly the idea would be that in five to ten years time we could see several Coventry players strutting their stuff in the senior side."

Blaze are still happy to recruit more youngsters for the scheme and Charman reveals that they cater for varying standards.

He said:

"I would say that twenty five per cent of kids who come to us are beginners at skating in general, and probably another 25 per cent can skate but have never played hockey.

"That is fine because our training sessions are split according to the standard and age of the players and they are taught accordingly.

"Sessions are held every Wednesday between 5pm and 8pm and the best thing for anyone wanting more information would be to come down and take a look.

"We do not charge a membership fee and the only cost is a weekly charge for the skating itself."

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CWN / Sport / Ice Hockey / Coventry Blaze / 8 May 01
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