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The first Ice Challenge has turned little heroes into fighters and hockey players

Hidria's first Ice Challenge has thrilled more than 30 kids to crown their autumn school holidays with a special sports experience. In the Jesenice Ice Hall they were warmed up with a presentation of martial arts by Denis Porčič-Chorchyp. And then the little heroes became real hockey players and got to know the attractions of the fastest team game in the world.

Hidria is further strengthening its project Building strong partnerships for future champions. We have already supported basketball, hockey, tennis and handball players; but during the autumn holidays we took care of the children of Hidria’s employees and their friends. More than 30 children from Tolmin, Spodnja Idrija, Ljubljana and Jesenice will remember this year's autumn holidays because of the special Ice Challenge for little heroes.

In the Podmežakla Ice Hall in Jesenice, where the hockey ace Anže Kopitar, one of the greatest stars of the world's strongest hockey league, the NHL, also picked up his first skills, they were welcomed by Denis Porčič-Chorchyp. The children know him primarily as a rap singer and winner of "Dancing with the Stars” But Denis is much more than that. First and foremost he is a professional MMA fighter, owner of the Samurai Club and coach. Beside the martial arts basics, he taught the children some important lessons. He emphasised that the values of the samurai, like respect, honour, courage and strength, are not a thing of dusty codes – they should be lived by each individual for the benefit of all.

Well warmed-up and enriched by some wisdom, the children were then taken over by the coach of the HA Jesenice Luka Pogačnik. He led Hidria’s little heroes on a tour of the hockey team's locker room. There they were received by the team captain Andrej Tavželj. He told the children that the hockey players’ equipment has 12 pieces and that the players need 15 minutes to prepare for a competition on the ice. The children tried on the gloves, helmets and sticks and chatted with the players with great interest. But the biggest fun was yet to follow: a complete transformation!  The children put on hockey boots, helmets and gloves, took the sticks and could finally try themselves in the Ice Challenge.  They joined the training session of the U14 group; in a good hour of basic hockey lessons, they played and skated diligently, and several pucks landed successfully in the net.

Our little heroes have seen that sport is a great companion for success in everyday life–it teaches discipline and respect—but the most important thing is that all this happens with a good dose of fun and relaxation. A healthy mind in a healthy body.