The Granite City’s ice hockey team have launched a recruitment drive to entice more young people to fill up their junior ranks.
Aberdeen Lynx have a variety of youth teams – Minis, Under-12s, U14s, U16s and U20s – and also run a “learn to play” section for competent young skaters of any age who have little to no experience of the game.
This means they cater for an age range of three to 19 years of age, with the adult Scottish National League (SNL) side the next step for players who make the grade.
Committee member Stuart Laird, who is leading the Lynx’s efforts to attract more juniors, said: “A lot of people in Aberdeen don’t know there is a rink, let alone an open one.
“We’ve got really highly qualified coaches, a good facility and the only thing we are missing is the numbers of kids.
“As it stands just now for our U12s, U14s and U16s, we actually don’t have enough youngsters to put a team together.
“So what we’ve done is combine with Inverness.
“My own son plays in the U14s – we’ve got a core of five or six from Aberdeen in the U14s. We’re using three or four “play-ups” – where an under-12 can step up a level if they’re good enough, and then we’re using five Inverness players as well just to get a team together for the league this season.
“Just about all the clubs in Scotland are having this problem with kids of that age.
“But this is a good sport, there’s a lot to be gained from it.”
Laird said the Lynx tend to retain players once they get them in the door, despite ice hockey being quite a technical sport, and the difference in players after just a few months is “phenomenal”.
The Lynx have plenty to offer youngsters – despite being low on bodies, they have one of the best facilities in the SNL and Barry Carnegie, youth head coach, is involved with the British junior set-up.
Laird has had a flyer made up to aid the Lynx in their hunt for players. It sells ice hockey as “one of the most fun, fast-paced and rewarding team sports”, which will help kids “make friends for life”.
He added: “Ice hockey is really helping my son with his life, it’s teaching him a lot. He and his team-mates are learning teamwork together, but it’s also good physical exercise.”
Training sessions are on Mondays, with sessions from 5.30pm until 11pm, and Friday evenings, with sessions from 6.30pm to 9.30pm, at the Linx Ice Arena. The club asks those interested to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org in advance.
The Lynx have plenty of kit going spare for those who want to try ice hockey for the first time.