Fresh from a training camp in Sweden, Cape Town ice hockey player Uzair Sadan has now been selected to represent the SA national under-20 side.
At just 15 years old, he will be the youngest member of the squad.
His relentless display on the ice also saw him being chosen by local coaches to attend the two-week Starzone camp in Sweden where he took part in drills with other players his age.
Uzair says he learnt valuable lessons that will take his game to new heights.
Those drills and skills will be put to good use when he dons his SA colours.
President of Western Province Ice Hockey Association (WPIHA) Jason Cerff is one of the people who played a role in making Uzair’s dream of attending the camp come true.
He and the WPIHA organised for Uzair to travel to Sweden after he missed out on another ice hockey camp in Finland.
Uzair makes up for his age with his size and is able to take the game to most senior players.
He admits that his game still needs development and says ice hockey is a fast-paced and physically demanding sport.
Players need to be mentally prepared and physically fit. Since starting the sport five years ago, he has been setting himself apart from others by constantly showing willingness to improve on his game.
He says he was an ice skating enthusiast before his friends convinced him to try ice hockey. He took up that challenge and judging from the impact he has made in the SA juniors, he has not looked back.
“If I keep improving at this speed, I’ll be up there with the greatest of players.
“I want to become the best player in the world and I know it sounds far fetched but with all my coaches and friends, I can do it.”
Cerff says Uzair is the hardest working 15 year old in the game with a bright future ahead of him.
He says the youngster has a heart of gold and his commitment to the game is paying off, that includes the trip to Sweden where he had an opportunity to work with coaches with NHL experience.
“WPIHA felt obligated to find a similar training camp for Uzair seeing that he might have missed out on the camp in Finland due to a technical glitch in the system.
“We then contacted the Starzone group, it just so happened they had a camp running in Sweden at a similar time as the International Ice Hockey Federation camp in Finland. So WPIHA decided to take up the opportunity for Uzair to join this camp,” he said.
Cerff, who is also the vice-president of the South African Ice Hockey Federation, said he is proud of the promise the youngster shows and wished Uzair and his teammates success in the upcoming under-20 championships.
The Windsor High School pupil is already a full member of Cape Town Storm, a Western Province Ice Hockey Association side.
In January next year, the SA under-20 side will be playing in the International Ice Hockey Federation under-20 World Championships division 3 in Bulgaria and Uzair will be expecting to make his mark during the championships.