FOR understandable reasons, Bradford Ice Arena has had to shut its doors to everybody for the third time in the past 10 months, meaning there will be no Bulldogs training for the foreseeable future.
After the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday night, the national lockdown to help combat Covid-19 prevents any kind of hockey training taking place – among most other things – adding to what has been an already challenging few months for everybody.
Bulldogs’ head coach Andy Brown had introduced extra practice sessions following the end of the second lockdown in November, with players from Under-9s through to Under-18s keen to take up the opportunity of boosting their development even further.
Andy has been pleased with the progress made by many of the youngsters at the club – at all age groups – and hopes it won’t be too long before he can get them back on the ice once again.
“The last few weeks have been excellent for everyone, I think,” said Andy.
“We brought in these extra, age-specific sessions given that we had the extra ice available at the rink and it has only helped our players develop their skills.
“We even managed to arrange two separate day camps which went down well with the youngsters, events where you could really see a striking progression in their abilities – even when it is just three extra hours of ice.”
Andy said there had been plans to put on a Bulldogs’ training camp during the half-term school holidays in February but this, along with everything else for the foreseeable future, has had to be shelved until later in the year.
“It is a frustrating time for so many people on so many different levels at the moment,” he added. “And we have to remember that there are more important things in life than hockey at times like this.
“We just need to make sure that we all stay safe, follow the government guidelines and then, maybe, we can all get back to doing the things we love doing the most – whatever that may be.
“I’ve really enjoyed the last few weeks since the second lockdown and I’ve been pleased with the way the kids have responded to the extra sessions and taken on the extra challenges we’ve given them.
“Hopefully, we can all get back together on that ice again as soon as possible and pick up where we left off.”