ICE HOCKEY: Rugby boys off to represent England in Bratislava

Rhodes Mitchell-King
Rhodes Mitchell-King

Largest ever England camp with about 140 players in six age-group teams

Rhodes Mitchell-King, from Dunchurch, travels to Bratislava next week with the England Under 15 ice hockey team for a training camp and games against strong local opposition.

Rhodes, who is supported by the GGL Sport Foundation through Rugby Borough Sports Awards, attended trials last summer and autumn with the final one in February.

He has been selected as one of the main defensive players but can also score goals as well as prevent them. In the past two seasons he has represented England at Under 13 (in Quebec) and Under 14 level (in Prague).

Rhodes plays his club ice hockey with the Coventry Blaze Academy Under 15 team of which he is captain this season.

He has also earned the privilege to train with and play up for the Under 18 team when available.

His goal-scoring abilities on top of his strong defence work make him an invaluable player for all his teams.

This season he has also trialled and gained selection for a strong Midlands Conference Under 15 team who travel to Prague in early May as preparation for the UK Championship tournament at the end of May.

The England camp in Bratislava is the largest ever organised by the English Ice Hockey Association with six age-group teams consisting of about 140 players plus some 30 staff.

Players at the Under 13, 14 and 15 boys’ age groups and girls at Under 14 and 17 with a late addition of boys at the Under 19 level will spend their time training in their groups both on and off the ice with three games during the five-day camp.

As featured in the Advertiser earlier this month, Josh Kelly, a pupil at Rugby Free Secondary School, will be part of the Under 13s team in Bratislava.

Josh’s call-up follows on from his selection to represent the Midlands Conference U13s.

Last year he gained selection for Team GB inline hockey at the AAU Junior Olympics in the under 12s’ team where his team came home with a gold medal.

Josh, 12, plays and trains for Nottingham Ice Hockey Club which is part of the Midlands Conference area and is a GLL Sport Foundation sponsored athlete.

The trials for the England team selections started in July 2017 where Josh and his fellow potential team mates attended a three-day selection camp in Deeside.

Since the initial trial, three more have been held in Sheffield in October, December and recently on Valentines day. All the participants were put through their paces where their fitness, mental endurance and physical endurance were tested.

It has been a busy 12 months for the Year 8 pupil as he was selected to play ice hockey for the South West Region in May last year and has also been chosen to play for the Midlands region this year.

In between all these outstanding ice hockey achievements, Josh has represented Great Britain in roller hockey in California in July last year and has also been selected to play for the Central region in inline hockey this year.