The University of Pardubice will be represented by its own team in this year’s university ice hockey league. A new team that will play in the University Ice Hockey League has been presented today during a memorandum signing ceremony; the memorandum will govern the cooperation between the University of Pardubice and the University of Pardubice Riders club.
The University Ice Hockey League was established last year and the team of the University of Pardubice, a public university based in a city with an ice hockey tradition, will join the second season. “We will keep our fingers crossed for the new university team, and I have personally no doubts it will be successful. Our university is based in a city with an ice hockey tradition, so I believe that the matches involving Riders will bring all students together and create a team of 7000 fans,” said Professor Tatiana Molková, Vice-Rector of the University.
Today, Riders have presented their name, new logo, jersey as well as the couch. The team will be coached by Martin Šejba, who will be assisted by Otakar Janecký Jr. and Petr Filip of the Department of Sport of the University of Pardubice. “We have had several training sessions together, which we enjoyed. Our team’s condition will be, however, put to the test in two warm-up matches of the Tipsport UNI Cup. During the season, we want to offer attractive training and match programme to our players, that will be compatible with their demanding study,” said Martin Šejba, Riders’ coach.
At the moment, there are 25 players in the line-up; 19 of them are university students who are joined by final-year secondary school students, which is in compliance with the University Ice Hockey League rules. The team captain is Dominik Bureš of the Faculty of Economics and Administration of the University of Pardubice. The age of the players ranges from 18 to 23 years; 13 players will start their study at the University of Pardubice this year.
The matches played on the home ground will take place in the Enteria Arena on Monday at 7:30 pm. The first home match will take place on 5 October against the team of Palacký University Olomouc “Today’s ceremony was preceded by many months of hard work involving organizational and legislative issues. I am happy on behalf the entire team’s management and look forward to the first’s match played on our home ground,” says Eva Nováková, a member of Riders’ Board of Directors. “It is by no means easy to succeed in ice hockey these days; that’s why I always recommend that young players do not put all the eggs in one basket, and keep pursuing their studies. If the university league continues to develop, I hope it can attract more young players and their parents,” says Vladimír Martinec, an ice-hockey legend, who is an ambassador of the new team.
Ing. Tomáš Hlaváč, President of the Czech University Ice Hockey Association also attended the ceremony.“The fact that two teams wish to join the University Ice Hockey League is a good advert for us after the first season, which was successful and received well by players, universities and the ice hockey community. I wish Riders good luck in the league and thank the management for fulfilling all licensing requirements, which are strictly observed in our league.“
The management of the Pardubice Dynamo team was also positive about the new university team. “Joining a university team may be an attractive option for players who do not make it to the professional teams, but want to play ice hockey anyway. Dynamo is supportive of such initiatives and will jointly with Riderslook for opportunities for cooperation,“ said Dušan Salfický, member of the Board of Directors of the HC Dynamo Pardubice.