Here are some general Questions and Answers that we have prepared from all the questions we normally get from new members:

Q: Is your club part of the Ice Rink?

A: As with any other club in Gauteng, we are a private club running on a Non Profit basis. We rent ice time from the Owners of the Ice Rink.

Q: If I am a member of the club does it entitle me to any other benefits offered by the Ice Rink such as attending public skating sessions, etc.?

A: Unfortunately not. We rent ice for a specific timeslot and we are only allowed on the ice during that time. Players may not enter the rink before 16H45 for Practice Sessions unless they pay for the Public Session. Also after practice members are required to change and leave the Ice Rink Immediately. If for some purpose you want to attend a Public Session after practice, you have to leave the ice rink and use the normal entrance for public sessions to return for the public session.

Q: At what age can someone start playing?

A: There is no minimum age to start playing ice hockey. We have players who started as young as 4 years of age.

Q: I am an adult who wants to start playing ice hockey – can I?

A: You can start playing ice hockey at any age and there are specific Divisions in the League where people who want to play recreational ice hockey can participate. Players in that league can range in age from 16 – 60 years of age.

Q: I cannot skate yet – do I first have to learn to skate before I can join your club?

A: No it’s not necessary – the Ice Hawks also have an Academy where we teach players to skate in a fun way but also incorporate ice hockey into our exercises as far as possible. However in some cases we would advise players to rather join the Ice Rink Skating Academy first.

Q: What age groups practice in the Academy?

A: Prospective Players of any age have and can practice in our Academy.

Q: What if I can skate?

A: When you join our club you will be assessed on your skills and you will be included in a Group with Similar skills.

Q: What equipment do I require when I join the club?

A: Ideally we prefer that you have your own skates and at least a helmet and Gloves. However for us a Helmet is way more important than gloves. The gloves and helmet is for the safety of the player.

The club does however have limited skates and kit available that can be borrowed by players – conditions do however apply. A deposit will be required and rental is payable.

Q: So if I borrow equipment from the club when will I actually be required to purchase full kit?

A: Once you have completed your Academy Training and need to start practicing with the teams who will be doing Ice Hockey Drills as well, you will require full Ice Hockey Kit to prevent injury.

Q: Where can I purchase Ice Hockey kit?

A: It’s always best to buy from local dealers although in some cases it might be more expensive. The advantage is that you can try on to ensure you buy the correct size. Online Shops are often used but then you should understand the different sizes and take all associated risks. The best place to start is the Pro-Shop at the Ice Rink.

Q: What will Ice Hockey Kit cost me?

A: Basic Ice Hockey Kit (Excluding Skates) could cost anything from R 4,000 upwards depending on the size and quality being purchased. Entry level kits for children are sometimes available at around R 1,000 to R 1,500 for the basic kit depending on the Rate of Exchange (Rand/.Dollar Exchange Rate).

Q: What do I pay for by means of my Club Fees?

A: The biggest cost to any club is the Ice Time. Clubs have to pay the owners of Ice Rinks per hour for ice used by the club. Ice Time is very scarce and only certain slots of ice time is made available for ice hockey. The other costs are costs of printing, advertising, communication (SMS, Telephone, etc.), Expenses of Coaches, Purchasing of kit that can be used by players (Goalie Kit for juniors cost up to R 15,000!)

Q: What are the current Rates?

A: There is only a single rate. The club fees are R550 per month payable at the beginning of the month. Should you make payment before the 7th an automatic discount is calculated and applied and you will only have to pay R500 for that month – obviously provided you pay before the 7th.

We do however have a Special Rate for NEW PLAYERS that are part of the Academy (Not playing in the league yet) in that for a maximum of 3 months unless they play in the league earlier than the 3 months has passed. The rate will then be R450 per month with the same discount as stated above.

Q: How is payment made?

A: To reduce the administration cost of the club it’s preferred that payments are made by means of EFT (Bank Transfer) into the club account. The information is as follows:

Ice Hawks Hockey Club

First National Bank (FNB)

Acc Nr: 62500913662

Branch: 250655

Please Quote your FULL Club Membership Number (Starting with IHHC000xxxx) to ensure we allocate the payments correctly. There is no need to send proof of payment via SMS or Email unless there is a specific reason to do so.

We do however also accept Cash Payments and Receipts will be issued on receipt of payment.

Q: When is practice sessions held?

A: We practice on Thursday afternoons from 17H15 to 19H15 in two sessions. The first session starts 17H15 – on ice until 18H15. The second session starts 18H15 until 19H15. Normally the first session will be used for our Academy and other Beginner to Intermediate Groups. The second session is for our more intermediate groups. We also have a practice on Fridays from 18H00 to 19H00 for our Advanced Players.

We have a scrimmage session on Fridays from 17H15 to 18H00. This is however by invite only.

Q: I have not been able to get to practice for this month – I am still required to pay?

A: The club fees are calculated over a 12 month period which means it’s averaged out over 12 months. If you cannot attend practice sessions for whatever reason, your fees will remain payable for that month.

Q: I have decided to stop playing ice hockey want to resign from the club – what do I do?

A: You can resign from the club at any point in time as long as you provide the club with 1 Month Written Notice of my intent. Fees will remain payable for the last month.

Q: I want to join another club but I still owe fees to my current club?

A: Before you can join any other Ice Hockey Club you must be in good standing with your current club. If not a Release letter will not be issued which in turn is required for you to be enrolled as a member of the new club.

Q: If for some reason we have less ice time one week or in some cases do nto have ice time – do we have to pay the full club fees?

A: As already indicated the club fees are calculated based on an average cost over a 12 month period. As a result times with less ice time or no ice time have already been included in the fee calculation. Therefore fees will remain payable.

Q: I have an arrangement with a Club Staff member to pay a reduced fee or no fee?

A: All discounts can only be approved by the Club Manager – Marinus Willemstijn and must be done in writing to be valid.

Q: Will there be a prize giving at the end of the year where trophies are handed to players?

A: This is our highlight of the year. Every year we try to have a better and bigger prize giving ceremony than the previous year. We spend on average around R 20,000 every year on trophies and medals for the prize giving! This is one event never to be missed. We have floating trophies for all divisions as well as trophies that can become part of your trophy case to one day show your kids!

Q: Who or what is GIHA and SAIHA?

A: GIHA is the acronym for Gauteng Ice Hockey Association and SAIHA the acronym for South African Ice Hockey Association. These are the Provincial and National Bodies established for Ice Hockey that all Clubs must affiliate to. Also all Ice Hockey Players playing for any of the clubs are required to register with these bodies on an annual basis.

Q: Is there a cost to register with these Bodies?

A: Yes. The cost for affiliation is adjusted every year and currently stands at R400 per annum for Ice Hockey Players. When you join the club as a beginner you do not have to affiliate immediately. This will be done within 2 – 3 months after you have joined the club and have made the decision that you will continue playing. However you will not be allowed to play in any games until you have affiliated.

Q: What benefit(s) do I get to belong to register with these bodies?

A: These bodies consist of people who look after the concerns of Ice Hockey on National and Provincial Level on a volunteer basis. They organize Inter Club Leagues, Inter Regional Tournaments as well as Inter Provincial Tournaments. They are also responsible to administrate the sport and liaise with sports bodies in South Africa and overseas. The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) is the International Body for Ice Hockey that SAIHA affiliates too. These bodies also arrange for training for Coaches, Referees and other officials as well as provide opportunity for players to attend international camps (Conditions Apply). There are many more advantageous and benefits for the players to have these bodies. One of these of course is obtaining funding from government and other institutions for the development of the sport in South Africa.

Q: How does the club feel about discipline?

A: We are a club that values discipline, on and off the ice. We require discipline from our coaches, players as well as spectators. We have a Code of Conduct that needs to be signed which provides the necessary guidance. We believe in a positive attitude towards each other with mutual respect.

Q: How many coaches do you have in the club?

A: The club has about 6 – 10 coaches. Our Head Coach is Riaan Willemstijn who is a Level 3 Accredited Coach with experience on all levels of coaching up to National Level.

Q: What training do the club’s coaches have?

A: The Coaches in the Club have a minimum Accreditation of a Level 1 with most of our coaches having Level 2 accreditation. Some of our coaches have Level 3 accreditation.

Q: How are Coaches Represented on Provincial and National Level?

A: The Head Coach of all the clubs in Gauteng represents their clubs on the Gauteng Coaches Forum which is responsible for all Coaches Training, Provincial and National Team Selections, etc.  All clubs are equally represented.

Q: Is there a specific Coaching Program?

A: Yes. The purpose of the Coaches Forum is to prescribe the Coaching program for coaches on a national level to ensure all Coaches coach on the same standard and use the same coaching principles. Our club adheres to those standards. The American Development Model (ADM) is currently being used.

Q: How do you communicate with your members?

A: Our first method of communication is via SMS. We use a Bulk SMS Service which is why you will get the SMS from a strange nr. You can reply to the SMS when instructed too and your reply SMS will reach us. We usually ask you to reply with a specific answer or word as we use an automated system to check responses. If you use another word it means we need to check responses manually.

If it’s something that is too difficult to communicate via SMS we send emails. If you do not have email please let us know so we can find an alternative method to keep you informed.

Also after each practice we have a 10 minute team discussion with all our members. We invite all parents to also attend.

We try our best to ensure to members are well informed!

Q: Who do I contact if I have a question or problem?

A: Contact Marinus directly. Your concerns will be confidential and we will always try our utmost to ensure your concerns are addressed.

Q: Are you active on Social Media?

A: Yes we have a Facebook page as well as a Web Site. The Web Site is www.icehawks.net and the Facebook Page is https://www.facebook.com/icehawksclub.

Q: Is there opportunity for me to sponsor the club or team?

A: We appreciate all sponsorships and people raising sponsorships will be incentivized. We prefer visible sponsorship where the sponsor can have visibility of what the money was spent on. If you are interested to sponsor a team in the club on whatever way, please contact Marinus for more details.