This year it was held at RAF Wittering, just ten minutes from Planet Ice Peterborough, the team went had an overnight stay at the base, that included classrooms, goal setting and most importantly team workouts.
Day one saw the players jump right into the action with trust and team building exercises on a high ropes course, which was followed by an hour long circuit workout. After an evening meal players then went to a video classroom session with Coaches Koulikov and Elias.
Day two started early with a 6:30 AM workout in which players battled rain and tiredness to complete team building tasks. Following showers and breakfast the team went through a another classroom session with the coaches before entering their final test, the RAF Skirmish – a physical and mental examination that all incoming RAF Regiment hopefuls must go through before being accepted into the RAF.
The grueling workout was run by Corporal Stu Edwards and Flight Lieutenant Danny Benn who also oversaw the teams time on base.
Player Development Coach Lee Elias, who organised the camp, explained why it was held at a military base this year. “Both Slava and I believe that creating a strong foundation to start the season is necessary in order for us to build success. With the EPL getting stronger, we couldn’t think of a better location than RAF Wittering.
Elias continued “While we battle on the ice to win hockey games and championships, the men and women of uniform battle across the earth to provide safety and freedom. Several of the words we use to describe our game; honour, accountability, teamwork, perseverance, and sacrifice to name a few have a deeper definition in the military. We wanted to give our squad some perspective into this.“
Flight Lieutenant Benn was impressed with the team’s performance. “I am sure if the physical and mental attitude and more importantly the team spirit demonstrated by the Phantoms throughout their time at RAF Wittering continues then success will be the only acceptable outcome. “
Coach Elias was also very happy with what he saw. “Both the coaching staff and RAF leaders demanded a lot from the guys during this camp and every single player responded by giving their all. We have a great group of guys here and I am excited to see how we can build from last season this year!”