September 7th 2023

Nottingham Panthers put through their paces in pre-season trip to HMS Sherwood

Nottingham Panthers Head Coach Jonathan Paredes operates a powerboat on HMS Sherwood's virtual reality simulator.

Two worlds collided on Tuesday night as the East Midlands’ only Royal Naval Reserve unit welcomed the region’s only professional ice hockey team to their weekly drill night.

This weekend the Nottingham Panthers launch their campaign in the Elite Ice Hockey League, the highest level of ice hockey in the UK, against fierce rivals the Sheffield Steelers.

Ahead of the season opener, 21 players tackled a series of physical and mental challenges at Foresters House, Chilwell, to get a taste of life as a Reservist in the Royal Navy.

Despite being a landlocked region, the professional ice hockey players were able to operate a powerboat thanks to a virtual reality simulator that pitches, rolls, and heaves the boat in realistic choppy water conditions.

They also took part in a timed race to quickly, and properly, put on protective firefighter gear. Players also practised knot tying, weapon handling, and a team-building exercise.

The visit is the first collaboration in what HMS Sherwood hopes will become a fruitful long-term relationship as it aims to widen its reach and engagement with the community.

The Nottingham Panthers players learn about fire fighting equipment.

Commander Kathryn Jacques, Commanding Officer of HMS Sherwood, said: “When you look at what the Reserves do compared to a professional sports team, superficially these two worlds seem very different but there are many similarities in terms of the commitment, the dedication, the physical fitness, the comradery and the teamwork.

“This is a great opportunity for us to build relationships with different organisations that help us to raise awareness of the Royal Navy and opportunities within the Reserves with new audiences in Nottingham.

“In fact, one of the players – who will remain unnamed – said they liked the idea of joining the Reserves once their ice hockey career is over, so watch this space.

“I would like to thank the Nottingham Panthers for taking the time out of their busy pre-season schedule to visit us and wish them the very best of luck for the season ahead.”

Omar Pache, The Nottingham Panthers CEO, added: “We would like to thank the Navy for being such amazing hosts and to everyone involved who took the time to lend their years of experience to make it such a fulfilling experience for all.

“The guys were really put through their paces with physical activities, as well as exercises that involved teamwork and problem-solving.

“It was great to have a team bonding session and do something away from the ice.”

View the full ghoto gallery: The Nottingham Panthers visit HMS Sherwood.

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