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U12 Ice Hockey National Finals


Year 6 pupil, Vakare, and her teammates at Leeds Junior Knights attended the Ice Hockey Association National Finals last weekend, an admirable achievement for any ice hockey player. 

Despite the team’s youth and having only formed one year ago, they continue to showcase their talents in high level competitions such as the nationals.  

This is a particularly commendable attainment for Vakare as she is also the only girl on her U12’s team and with coaches only able to select 16 players to take, she was extremely proud. 

U12 National Final 

Leeds Junior Knights and eight teams from across the region fought it out across the two-day tournament, which was followed by a closing ceremony and awards presentation. Reflecting on her time at the event, Vakare said, “We didn’t win any games which was kind of sad, but I was still happy that we got to the nationals. It means so much to me and I won a trophy. I was very happy I won!” 

Vakare went on to explain how she first discovered the unique sport which she has been playing for around 2 years. “I wanted a sport that was different. The first time I got on the ice I felt like it was my sport and I have got very good at it. It was sad leaving my old team, but I feel very lucky to play for Leeds and that they made it to the nationals” 

As York doesn’t currently have an ice hockey facility, Vakare shows a great deal of dedication to her sport and development by travelling twice a week to Leeds. She attends training after busy days at school, and occasionally goes further afield for matches on weekends.  

Senior Teaching Assistant, Miss Pagliaro, commented on Vakare’s commitment, saying “She’s a superstar. She so badly wants to do it and she puts everything into all that she does, whether that is her sports, or her learning in class.” 

Awards Presentation

This hard-work and dedication did not go unnoticed during the closing ceremony. Vakare received the ‘Spirit of the Game’ Award, an honour that was truly deserved. Well done Vikare and Congratulations to Leeds Junior Knights. 

Vakare hopes to achieve further success with her team. She describes her dream job as being a professional ice hockey player, and someone who rescues lots of dogs. With Vakare’s determination and positive attitude, we are certain she will go far!  

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