Monday, 25 January 2010


Though this blog has always been about speaking about motivation, I have examined different options available to myself in and around getting to the level I wanted and hence I’ve started to look for a personal sponsor for myself to help cover the cost of my ITC. Below is a letter that I have and will be sending to businesses in and around the UK in the hopes that someone would be able to sponsor me in a time when all advertising/sponsor budgets are tight.

Last year I made the conscious decision of trying to make it to the pro's before I exceed my shelf life as an athlete. Since making this commitment, I have spent significant time training and honing my skills to compete for a roster spot with one of the many professional teams in the UK and the rest of the world. I came close, with securing a try out with the Isle of Wight Raiders (had to cancel due to an injury), Basingstoke Bison, as well as attracting interest from number of teams from the Australian and Dutch leagues.

Despite these early indicators for success and my ability to compete for a spot, there is always one final hurdle that prevents me signing. As a foreign player, I would have to pay for my International Transfer Card (ITC) in order to be eligible to play for the British league teams, which is why I'm getting in touch. What I am looking to do is to find personal sponsor from the business world that would be able to help me out with my quest to achieve my dream of playing professional hockey again. The cost of an ITC ranges between £700-800 and in the current economic climate many teams are hesitant to make such an investment, unless the player comes with credentials from North American leagues, such as the AHL, ECHL or even the NHL.

As this is only a preliminary query to find out whether there is interest within your company or within your client base, here is what I can offer you: Logos and corporate visibility on my blog, logos and visibility on my twitter page which has just been launched and has been attracting approximately 2-3 new followers per day. I would also be happy to endorse your company through wearing your branded t-shirts to the gym, which is located in the Chineham Business Park, housing many technology companies such as Motorola, Ericsson, Infotrends and many others.

All of the companies at the Business Park have an corporate agreement with Fitness First in Chineham and many of the employees regularly work out at the gym, which would provide good exposure for your/your clients' brand.

The main sponsorship benefit that I am striving for is to, depending on a team that I can reach an agreement with, is to have you as my personal sponsor, which could entail your logos on my jersey as well as announcements during the game, when I score a goal, assist or have to spend time in the sin bin (though I'm a fairly clean player). However I must stress that this is purely dependant on the team I sign with and can be discussed further once I have signed the agreement.

Currently the teams I will be going after for next season include: Basingstoke Bison, Bracknell Bees, Slough Jets, Swindon Wildcats, Telford Tigers, Haringey Greyhounds, Isle of Wight Raiders, Bristol Pitbulls.

All I am looking for at the moment is to find out whether there is any scope of us working together in achieving my dream. Any formal agreements can be made closer to 2010-2011 ice hockey season starts and I have found a team.

I understand that times are tough at the moment, but I'd be interested to hear if there was any budget for sponsorship.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010


I often get asked about my training and whether I train with a personal trainer or not, or whether I have a ‘gym partner’. Different people have different preferences, but my preference is individual training. I’ve been training with people in the past and have found it great as it was a great way to unwind and basically just chew shit or talk about the NHL season.

But at the moment, my training is something that I try and use as an exercise to enhance my mental preparedness and toughness. There’s no greater challenge, in my mind, than trying to push more weight than you were able to the previous time. When I was last at home and talking about training with my cousin, who has for all intents and purposes been somewhat of an idol to me, he told me that training at the gym was some of the most intense he had experienced in any sport. That combined with the requirements of hockey and you have the perfect athlete.

My cousin said that while you’re working out it is the one place where you can find out what you really are about. It’s that mentality that I take with me to the gym every time. I know I’m not the biggest guy there, nor do I intend to be, but the way I train is always geared with very specific goals in mind. Examples are such as “if I use 40kg weight for my jump squats how will it improve my explosiveness compared to using a lighter weight.” I know it sounds awfully meatheadish, but it is something that I use to push myself.

Another thing that training does it increases your tolerance for pain. It’s a well known fact that hockey is a tough contact sport and that to move some form of weight can often be a painful experience.

Hockey is a great sport because to be truly successful at it, it requires total dedication. Whatever you do off the ice has to reflect back to how it will benefit you on the ice. To make that commitment takes a lot of character and sacrifice. I know of times when I could’ve had the chance to go out and enjoy myself and have a few beers, but I opted to stay in and avoid a hangover just because I knew that I could get a better workout done the next day.

The major drawback about all of this is that often, especially this level, is that the life of a hockey player can be a awfully solitary. Sure your family is there, but you want that part of your life to be completely separate from hockey and training, though you have to be accommodating about the schedule and fit everything around games and training.

But the truth is, this is the path that I’ve chosen and there is no way that I would voluntarily give it up. It requires dedication, determination, grit and passion to put up with simple things as putting up with shit weather conditions to get to the gym. Though at times I think I should’ve done what my coach did and build my own gym in a shed somewhere.

Friday, 8 January 2010

The Great Outdoors

So why does white powder cause so much hassle in the UK? I’m not talking about cocaine here, but snow. Snow is something that I grew up with and it was something that came down every year in late October, early November. Though snow isn’t seen on these shores that often, it shouldn’t cause such huge disruptions, or wide spread panic.

Because of the snow, my training has been severely disrupted. With Christmas holidays and the snow messing things up, I haven’t been able to train as intensively as I would like. In the last three weeks, my on ice training has been cancelled twice and with the summer cup coming round the corner quickly I’m worried that we will be ill prepared unless we step our training up and start playing some friendly matches to ready our selves for the up and coming challenge.

I find snow quite fun, but because of the disruption it has caused, it is starting to get a bit old. I mean our bins haven’t been collected in two weeks now and our recycling bin hasn’t been collected in over a month. I think the old adage “if you want something done, do it yourself” rings true as we’re going to take our rubbish to the dump ourselves over the weekend. But that’s enough on that topic before this turns into a rant.

The great thing about snow in Finland when I was growing up was that it was the anticipation of the local out door rinks being frozen. The ground care takers would start laying water down as soon as the temperature dropped below zero and usually within a few weeks you could set up a game of outdoor shinny on the rinks. It didn’t matter what age you were, or what your ability was. It was just great playing the game outdoors and have some serious fun.

You see back then it didn’t matter how cold it was, or how much snow was on the ground. You knew the rinks would be clear and cut on regular intervals. It didn’t matter if it was -25 degrees with added -10 degrees from wind chill when you were skating. It simply did not matter. All that did was to shoot pucks in the net, pretending you’ve scored the game winner in over time in the seventh game of Stanley Cup finals, or just being there and have a good time with your friends. I think my school success always suffered during winter because I was in such a rush to get to the rink. Though my parents told me I wasn’t allowed out, until my homework was done and given they granted me the independence and responsibility of doing it on my own I usually whizzed through it (with often poor results) to get to the rink in time.

What made that time even more fun was that even at those temperatures, getting to the rink on a bike didn’t matter. You see in those days kids didn’t have mobile phones so you couldn’t just ring your parents to tell them to come and pick you up once you’d had enough, so getting home was interesting when you were all sweaty, but it didn’t matter. 5km in the cold didn’t feel that bad.

As the NHL had its regular outdoor game on new year’s day, it took me back to the days when I played outdoors and thought back on all those great memories from that time. I only wish that I could do that again sometime soon as it is the environment where I fell in love with the game and over the years it’s been a great relationship.

I think as a player I still have a good 10 years of shelf life left, maybe more if I take good care of my body and learn to listen to it more. In those ten years I intend to achieve some of the goals I have set for myself and hopefully some of them will come true.

A Quick Update

t would seem that I have neglected this blog for a while. There has
been a number of holidays and what not that have diverted my focus away
from the blog for the time being. That and I've been busy training,
though it has been greatly interrupted due to the recent snow fall we've
had in the UK. The last time I've been to the gym has been on the 3rd of
January. Damn white powder coming so hard that the gym has actually been

Given that there hasn't been much movement on the hockey front as we are
only coming up to the season now and we haven't really played any games
recently there haven't been that much to write about to be honest. I
want to keep this blog somewhat fresh and I didn't really feel like
posts on 'went to the gym today. Did three sets of 12 on legpress at
130kg' would be that interesting or beneficial for anyone to read.

Though saying that, I have been able to start pushing the normal type of
weight again now that I'm recovered from the operation. The only slight
snag I've had is a broken finger after I got a slap shot on the tip of
the glove. Slightly painful, but nothing that would prevent me from
playing or training for that matter.

I mentioned the operation and despite it being three months ago now, I
still wouldn't class myself as 100% fit. I've managed to put on the
muscle that I lost but I haven't fully regained the explosiveness to the
degree I want it to be at.

However it will come and I'm sure that by the time it comes to the
summer cup I'll be in great condition and will be able to pursue my
ultimate goals.

The one thing that I have done, is that I have opened a twitter page for
this blog as well at You can follow
random short thoughts there as well as gain links to the actual blog and
stories. Though if you are reading this here then you must already know