Meet the current Great Britain Para Ice Hockey Team.
We will add a new profile to the page each week, in the run up to the 2019 IPC World Championships (Pool B), which take place in NOvember 2019 in Berlin, Germany.
Role: Head Coach
Head Coach Ian Offers, has been involved in the sport of Ice Hockey since 1999 when he watched his first game in Finland, whilst working for Nokia.
After years of watching Football, the speed and skill of the sport grabbed his attention. He started working for the Peterborough based Pirates, later to become the Peterborough Phantoms, running their website as well as working on their supporters club and even driving the player’s bus to away games for a number of years.
When he was given the opportunity to try the sport in 2002 his initial foray lasted 2 weeks before he fell and broke his wrist! Once recovered he was back on the ice, signing up to play for the Peterborough Predators.
After a few seasons of playing he sat his Level 1 Coaching Qualification as he wanted to give something back to the sport and help new players. After helping coach the Junior clubs Learn To Play sessions, where he taught children aged 4-9, he moved to help with the Peterborough Under 18s team for 2 seasons. The team contained players who now play for GB Seniors, the Elite League and other British league teams.
After taking a break from coaching for a few seasons, he returned as Head Coach of the newly formed Peterborough Flyers. The Flyers were an adult Learn To Play team, formed from new players to the sport. At the same time, he was also asked to help with the Peterborough Phantoms Para Ice Hockey team.
Initially, he said no to Para Ice Hockey, as the sport was alien to him, but after watching a few training sessions he agreed to join the club. When the then Head Coach left the club, Ian took over as the team became the most successful Para Ice Hockey club in recent years. The Phantoms won the League title in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. They also claimed 3 successive Play-Off Tournament trophies.
In 2015 he was asked to join the Great Britain setup as the assistant Coach and also returned to coaching Ice Hockey after accepting an invite to coach Cambridge University’s Women’s & Development Teams.
In early 2016 he became the Head Coach of the Great Britain Para Ice Hockey Team and his first International tournament was taking the GB team to Japan in November 2016 for the IPC World Championships.
Since Japan he has worked to bring in new development players into the GB Programme to help bring continued growth to the National programme. He will lead the team in November to the IPC World Championsips, Pool B, which will be held in Berlin, Germany. The team will face Germany, Poland, Slovakia, China and Russia in the tournament.
Speaking of the tournament he said “We know the tournament will be hard work, as we are facing a number of strong teams. After Japan in 2016 I set a goal as to where I wanted the team to be, and this tournament will give us the opportunity to benchmark ourselves and hopefully surprise a few teams.
“Most of the team we face will have funding and sponsorship, whereas we are fully self funded, from the monthly 2 day training camps to the tournaments and even down to the GB clothing we have, the team funds themselves. We are working hard to fundraise this year and are always grateful for the support of fans around the country and the GB Supporters Club for their help and support.”
Head Coach of the Great Britain Para Ice Hockey Team
I have a condition called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome which causes my right leg to be extremely painful. I also have a completely numb left leg. I developed my condition in 2011 whilst training to raise funds for Help for Heroes where I was the youngest to do a 40 mile sponsored cycle.
Growing up I always wanted to be an ice hockey player. I grew up skating and would go every opportunity I could. I also had season tickets to watch the Guildford Flames play and I have family that play the sport. After my accident I missed ice hockey and skating a heck of a lot.
Years after my accident one of my basketball teammates got talking to me about ice hockey and invited me to the first GB women’s para ice hockey camp where I got to try the sport and absolutely loved it!
From there I was lucky enough to get to go to Norway and Czech Republic with the girls for developing the women’s sport, where I was also very lucky to be asked to play for the European woman’s team against Canada and USA. It was after this trip that I got invited into the GB men’s program and got to play alongside some really experienced players which really helped massively to improve my game.
When I got the message through that I’d made the men’s team I couldn’t quite believe it being not only the youngest but the only female! I’m really excited for the Worlds and know I’ll learn a lot about the game and hopefully encourage more people male and female to join this incredible sport.
If you would like to support our GB program, a donation can be made by following this link https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/teamgbpih
Joined the team in 2019 and is the youngest member of the GB Para Ice Hockey Team.
Meet Matt Clarkson playing in number 5.
Some say Billy Bridges (Team Canada) has a hard shot, wait till you see Clarkson hit a puck!
I was approached in the gym by Matt Lloyd after Turin 2006 and invited to the upcoming training session at Hull Arena. This led to the opportunity to be part of a team sport, make new friends, travel to many different countries and a new aim of competing in sport at international level.
Little did I know at the time of joining the sport that I would go on to achieve so much at club level as well as becoming a bronze medalist (Nagano 2013) and a leader for Great Britain which I consider huge achievements that I can be proud of.
I’m hoping this year GB can achieve the goals set for this and that I can contribute to this. I’m working hard on ice with my new club Sheffield Steelkings having joined this year from Kingston Kestrels and off ice in the gym to be ready for the upcoming World Championship in Berlin. I want to see the team progress and would love to achieve the ultimate achievement of the team competing again in the Winter Paralympics.
If you would like to make a donation follow this link https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/teamgbpih
Top scorer in the British Para Ice Hockey League for the last few seasons.
I was introduced to try the sport of Para Ice Hockey back in 1997. Pat Bailey ran a taster session to attract new players and said that I should come and give it a go.
This was back in the days when the team was training at Queensferry in North Wales, and after attending I enjoyed the session so much Ithat never looked back!
A year after joiningthe team I represented my country at the 1998 Nagano, Japan, Winter Paralympic Games.
Being a part of the Great Britain team is a great honour for me and has helped me to gain a lot of respect for myself and self discipline. As well as that, being part of something magnificent is very rewarding.
We also hope at the 2019 IPC World Championships later this year we can qualify and progress further to fulfill our dreams of making the next Paralympic winter games at Beijing in 2022.
If you would like to support our in GB program in way of a donation please follow this link https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/teamgbpih
Battling forward now returning to the GB Squad after a break.