It is with great pleasure that I welcome one and all to meet the UK Lions.
My role as Chairman is a very privileged one. I have been involved with the Lions since 2005 following an invitation from Graham Bell to come and see what the Lions were achieving.
Firstly, I would like to thank Graham Bell for the extraordinary work that he does on a voluntary basis. Each year Graham is responsible for bringing together a group of outstandingly talented young players, some of whom have gone on to play for their countries, appeared in World Cups and the Olympic Games. For a great many years Graham was supported by Peter Atkins as the Head Coach. Pete, as he was fondly known, was a coach of the highest quality, who helped set the likes of Callum Giles, Russell Garcia and more recently Harry Martin on their road to full international honours.
Pete’s philosophy was “do it right from the outset and it becomes the norm”, and together with Graham they forged the Lions ethos of ‘once a Lion, always a Lion’, helping to develop players who retain a life long passion for the game at whatever level they play. I really cannot thank Graham and the team of coaches and officials enough for their time, dedication, commitment and boundless enthusiasm which all they give freely to all the players in following their dreams.
The UK Lions is a non-official, invitational touring side that is selected from players competing at the UK Under 13 Festivals of Hockey. The players train together 6 or 7 times a year in different locations across the UK and they have the opportunity to tour both at home and abroad. This training helps them to progress rapidly as players, as potentially, up to this point they have only had exposure to their club and county coaches. The results from the UK Lions’ sessions are outstanding, with exposure to new coaches and different styles of training, as well as meeting a lot of new friends from across the UK. It is an unbelievable experience for both players and parents alike.
Chairman UK Lions Hockey