12 May The Pakozdi family Share their experiences of OHA UK
Firstly, we chat with alumni Balint. What were your highlights from your time at OHA?
I would have to say my final year at OHA was the most memorable for sure, we had a great group of boys and we were able to win everything in England. That year of hockey was one of the most fun years I’ve played. A great story that I’ll always remember is that I think, almost every Friday we scrimmaged in practice, Jordan Kelsall and I were usually the captains on each team and I remember about a week before the Rob Laidler tournament in Swindon we had such a competitive scrimmage we pretty near got into a fight and then an hour later we were sitting next to each other in class like nothing happened and I think that just shows how good the environment was and how committed we were to getting better every day.
What have you taken from your OHA experience that has helped you over the last 3 years in both the USA and Sweden?
In Sweden, we didn’t really have a set daily program, so it was up to me to work out, get on the ice as much as I can and make sure I eat and hydrate well. I think having a daily routine at OHA helped me to stay on top of things and with my work ethic, I was able to have a pretty successful year both individually and as a team. When it comes to the USA and the junior system, I think Coach Laurie Barron in my second year taught me a lot. It’s very different from what I was used to and players move up and down and get traded and I think it helped a lot to have someone like him tell his stories and explain how it works. I also learnt a lot in general from Ryan and his never-ending stories on bus rides. The 7 am bag skates, which I hated at the time, pushed me and I can confidentially say that I was the top 3 fittest player on every team since OHA. While I was still there, he pushed us to be our best and work hard every day. Overall, I think the most important thing I learnt at OHA is how to be a good leader and how much that affects the team’s performance.
Next up, we spoke with current student-athlete, Levente. How did you find your first year OHA?
My first year at OHA was great and I really enjoyed it. Throughout the year I have improved a lot on and off the ice. Everybody in the program has been very nice and caring and it was a joy to be part of such a good team.
How are you getting on with school work and keeping yourself fit while on lockdown?
While in lockdown we have a team and individual calls which help us have a structured day. We have to do the school work online and the coaches and teachers see what we have done and they also help if we need it. Our coaches have also sent us workouts to do to stay in shape during the lockdown. We also have a team quiz over the calls every Monday and Friday which has been really fun so far. Overall my first year at OHA has been amazing I met a lot of great people, improved a lot in all parts of life. Unfortunately, now we’re on lockdown but the team is still together helping each other.