Monday, March 21, 2016 - Submitted by Bianca Musico
BEARS PARTNER WITH AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE ICE HOCKEY TEAM ARMY KNIGHTS
The Sydney Bears are excited to announce their partnership with the Australian Defence Force ice hockey team, the Army Knights for the 2016 Australian Ice Hockey League season.
The ADF Ice Hockey Association (ADFIHA) was formed in February of 2015 and is made up of representatives from the Army, Air Force and Navy. The alignment aims to promote ice hockey within the ADF and across the country as well as to help develop emerging talent.
ADFIHA President, AIRCDRE Bill Kourelakos said:
“The burgeoning relationship between the Army Knights and the Sydney Bears is a fantastic opportunity for both teams to learn from each other.
For the Knights', having the best players and coaches on hand to assist in improving the skills of our players is an opportunity that cannot be missed.
The Army Values of Courage, Initiative, Respect and Teamwork are clearly equally important to the Bears' players, and we hope this common approach will bring our two teams closer together.”
Sydney Bears President, Wayne Hellyer is excited to be partnering with the Army Knights this season:
“I think it will be great to have the Army Knights involved with the Bears this season. With the support of the ADFIHA, I think it will add another level to an already strong foundation we have at the club.
It is a great way to support the Defence Force and the growing talent we have here in Australia. We’re really looking forward to seeing how we can develop this relationship further as the season gets underway.”
For the Army, it is the opportunity to work with Bears coaching staff and players that is a key benefit to come from the partnership.
AIRCDRE Kourelakos said:
“With a broad spectrum of playing abilities in the Knights it is a wonderful opportunity for our players to improve and better themselves.
Further, we hope that through this affiliation the Knights will become something of a "farm team" for AIHL teams - as and when we produce players capable of playing at the AIHL level, we'd love to see them get the opportunity to play at an elite level in Australia.”
Sydney Bears Head Coach, Ron Kuprowsky had previously coached the Army Knights in November 2015 for the inaugural ADF Tri-Service tournament, in which the Knights won with a 3-0 victory over the Air Force Eagles.
“Working with the Knights last year was a great experience for me. It was awesome to work with the Army servicemen and women, and the ADFIHA overall,” Kuprowsky said. “The talent that was showcased was really impressive and I’m looking forward to the upcoming season to see what else we can do.
I can’t say much, but there may be a familiar ADF face out on the ice this season, but you’ll have to keep your eyes out for that announcement later on!”
The Bears play their first home game against the CBR Brave on Sunday, April 24 over the ANZAC long weekend at Penrith Ice Palace. The Sydney Bears are offering 50% off all tickets for ADF members throughout the season.