Day One: Opening ceremony and first introduction to the ice rink

25.07.2023 / Daniel Lhotský

The IIHS camp came back after long pause due to covid. International Czech-Finnish School celebrates its tenth birthday this year, and for the first time since the start of the project, it is not held in Jihlava, but in Pelhřimov, where the Finnish part of the camp arrived in the afternoon on 25 July. After lunch at the Hotel Slavie all participants moved to the ice rink, where not only the players but also the coaches got acquainted with a completely new environment. The players went on ice on the first day, but their first game will be at the second day of camp.

The plane with all the participants from Finland landed in Prague after 11 a.m., and players arrived to Pelhřimov around fourteen o´clock. After lunch in a restaurant, the complete Finnish part of the camp moved to the ice rink in Pelhřimov and started unpacking. Shortly afterwards, participants from all over Vysočina region started arriving in the city of records and the hockey players could start getting know each other. At 4 p.m., the opening ceremony took place in front of the entrance to the ice rink, which was attended not only by the players, organizers and coaches but also by special guests, including Vítězslav Schrek, the governor of the Vysočina Region, who came to greet the participants, and Vít Holub from the Jihlava branch of the Czech Union of Sport.

„Today it was a bit of chaos, so many preparations. Actually, we have been here with the whole team since yesterday, preparing the cabins and the facilities, today we just came to finish it and waited for the Finns to arrive. We are going to start the whole camp with official opening where we invited the governor of the region and Vít Holub from the Czech Union of Sport to help us begin it. We will just say a few sentences to introduce them, so they know who they are working with and who the Czech and Finnish players will meet. And then we´re on it, the first training session starts," said Tereza Ščerbanová, the executive director of Dukla and the main organizer of the camp.

After the opening ceremony, the first exercise took place. The players were divided into Blue and White Teams already before the camp, each team had a short off-ice training session near the ice rink and the first on-ice training session. After about an hour, the two groups switched. That was it for the opening day, all the player moved on to dinner at a restaurant after practice, followed by a short free program after check-in. Participants also experience different accommodation this year than in previous years. Due to moving of the camp to Pelhřimov, the players are staying in the dormitory of the local industrial school. The whole camp continues on the second day first with a group photo, followed by morning training sessions. The first match of the camp will take place on 26th July at 4 p.m. The entry is for free.

Finnish players enjoying their lunch.

Finnish participants behind flags of both participants.

The opening ceremony was attended by all players, coaches, organizers and also Vítězslav Schrek and Vít Holub.

Both teams experienced off-ice training.

Adam Vylíčil, the coach of the camp, perform next exercise.

The goalie coach Daniel Šťastný trained goalies individually.
Photo: Daniel Lhotský

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