This page is intended to provide follow-on information for those players who are intending to graduate from the Saturday morning Learn to Hockey Skate programme run in conjunction with SLM.
As you probably know, the Learn to Hockey Skate (LTS) initiative is something that the Sting started four years ago. Since then more than 500 children have taken part and have become accomplished ice skaters in their own right. Having graduated from LTS, many have gone on to the Learn to Play (LTP) programme and then on to join one of the Sting junior teams.
Having joined our LTS programme it is likely that you will want to lean as much as you can about what Sutton Sting has to offer you? The Club website (www.suttonsting.co.uk) has lots of information on its pages and in browsing the site you might feel there is too much information to try and take-in all at once? Well, if that's the case then this page is for you and so it's a good place to start also. Let's assume this is your first visit to the website...
1. Saturday Morning LTS
- The session starts promptly at 8:00 am and runs for 30 minutes finishing at 8:30 am.
- You are advised to arrive at the rink in plenty of time to get kitted-up before the session starts.
- Kit and equipment - you have now joined the first stage of a "Learn to Play ice hockey" programme. Whilst we aim to provide basic items of equipment on a loan basis, if you are thinking of taking-up ice hockey then our advice is always to acquire the basic kit items for your player. The reason for this is all about confidence and also the fact that we can not provide unlimited items of kit for free to new players because we just do not have the resources. You should be aware that Sutton Sting staff attend the LTS sessions as volunteers and they do not receive any payment for giving-up their time. Equally any kit you borrow is provided by Sutton Sting and we do not receive any payment or other subsidy for providing the kit.
- How much does the basic kit cost? For kids U12 years we should be able to supply you with basic items of NEW kit for under £50, If we have used kit available then this could be supplied for around £30. Should you decide not to continue with ice hockey after your initial 6 week programme then the Club will reimburse you for the basic items of kit less a modest allowance for use/wear and tear.
- Badges and Grades: The key point behind the LTS model is that kids learn to skate at a pace that suits them. Some take to skating really quickly and their progression through Badges 1 to 4 is really quick. The skills on badges 5 and 6 take a bit more time to get to grips with and so it is not unusual for kids to take 6 weeks or more to pass badge 5 and then a similar time for badge 6. Typically we would say that to gain competence and proficency at each of the first 6 badges then you should be expecting a period of between 6 and 12 months.
2. Free Try-Out session
From time to time our Coaches recognise a high level of ability in a young player who might be on the LTS programme. In such cases that player may well be invited to a Free Try-Out session with one of the Sting teams which will take place on a regular training night (usually on a Sunday evening at Lammas). Full kit must be worn in any team try-out session and for the first session the Club will issue kit to the player. This type of opportunity is by INVITATION ONLY as the Coaches need to be confident that the player has a reasonable level of skating ability such that they are safe while out on the ice.
Once you reach Badge 6 you will become eligible for a Free Try-Out session to give you an idea of what it is like to be part of one of the Sting teams. At that point there will be a couple of options open to you:
- Enroll on the LTP programme (typically Monday nights at 6pm)
- Join the Sting and take the "train-only" option
- If offered a place on one of the teams, Join that team and get fully involved in Sutton Sting