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03/26/234

LORENA PEDRAZA IS ADVANCING THE SPORT OF HOCKEY… IN A COUNTRY THAT DOESN'T HAVE AN ICE HOCKEY RINK.

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A hockey player since the age of eight, Lorena Pedraza is currently captain of the Colombian Ice Hockey Women’s National Team, an Experience Leader with  Fedehockey (the Colombian Ice Hockey Federation), and coach and project lead for the future Colombian Junior National Team.

A passionate advocate for the sport, she’s dedicated to learning about every aspect of hockey, and to making it possible for more Colombian kids to fall in love with the game the same way she did.

We recently caught up with Lorena to talk about her amazing hockey journey.

Thanks so much for taking the time to talk with us. How did a little girl growing up in Colombia get into ice hockey?       I had a passion for sports from a very young age. My dad used to take me to play soccer, basketball, and also to inline skate. I really enjoyed skating, so my dad would take my sister and me skating every weekend, and I took artistic skating classes but realized it wasn't for me. Later, we looked into speed skating, but I didn't like that either. After a cousin watched the movie The Mighty Ducks and bought hockey equipment, my uncle and two cousins invited me to play with them, and that's how I discovered hockey. I fell in love with it at first sight, at the age of eight!

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Can you tell us about some of the unique challenges you’ve faced in your hockey career?      From the first time I played with the Colombian women's national team in 2015, I’ve been traveling constantly to play in tournaments, and to continue learning and improving my skills, because currently, Colombia does not have an ice hockey rink. The men's and women's national teams prepare for international tournaments on inline skates, following ice hockey rules, and thanks to this, more and more athletes have been encouraged to get to know the game, to start practicing it, and to be part of the process. This is the result of dreaming, committing, and working hard to make dreams come true!

 

What are some of the challenges you now face as a coach?     As a coach, I’m committed to continuing to learn about the technical and tactical aspects of the game, and to working to create a development program that not only considers the hockey aspects, but also includes mental, nutritional, and overall physical aspects to help to develop individuals.

 

What’s the most exciting thing about the future of ice hockey in Colombia?     Currently, we have more than 350 athletes playing in the Fedehockey leagues. Additionally, we have weekend tournaments, as well as development camps with professional players—Jincy Dunne and Florence Schelling were in Colombia last year. And we’re working to have the first ice hockey rink in Colombia, which would also be the first in South America!

 

We connected when you became a PowerPlayer user. What do you think PowerPlayer offers you as a coach?     Communication is very important. It's necessary for everyone to have the same information in order to advance in the development processes. Having close relationships with athletes allows coaches to better understand their goals, motivations, fears, weaknesses, and strengths, and thus have a follow-up and a plan that helps them develop as athletes and as individuals. PowerPlayer is a very professional way to maintain contact with players and parents, which is why I implemented it in the Colombian girls' development program.

 

Are there any other thoughts you’d like to share?     Hockey is a fun and entertaining sport! I want to continue working to grow the ice hockey community in Colombia, to make Colombia a competitive country at the international level, and to give more boys and girls the opportunity to experience this wonderful game. I absolutely cherish all the life lessons that playing hockey has taught me, and look forward to many more that are still to come.

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