How much do we really know about what Coventry Blaze’s Kevin Noble has been up to this offseason? I took a few minutes to chat with Kevin about friends, hockey, surfing and going down under.
In terms of social media Noble is incredibly quiet in relation to his team mates. Those with beady eyes and a good memory, may remember seeing photos of him on the ice with the rest of team Canada participating (and winning!) in the 2016 Ice Hockey Classic in Australia. What was that all about?
For many, the summer is a chance to take a break from the ice, relax and catch up with friends and family missed during the season. This year Kevin Noble found an incredible way to stay on the ice, catch up with friends and visit some amazing places. The Ice Hockey Classic this year was a three and a half week, charitable tournament, raising funds and awareness for the stopconcussions foundation, Brain Injury Australia and Shoot for a Cure, hosted by none other than Wayne Gretzky.
During the course of the tournament Noble got the chance to meet the man himself and came away with a photograph and a signed jersey. Something he’s quite proud of.
He continued by explaining that it was a five game series, Canada verses the United States, played in five different cities across Australia. This makes is attractive to players who want to get involved in the tournament. It serves as a way to continue getting ice time in the off season, make new friends and connections and catch up with old friends and also to visit some of the most incredible cities that Australia has to offer. Some might even say the perfect vacation for any ice hockey player. All while making a difference to something that is close to the hearts of many players all over the world.
…it’s always exciting and a lot of fun to play in a game with those two teams involved as it’s for the most part a friendly rivalry, played for the fun of bragging rights and it attracts a lot of attention. This year it was attracting a few different NHL players. Which only adds further to the attraction for fans of the tournament.
There is a rapidly growing market in Australia for events like this one and with the average crowd turnout of between 8,000 and 14,000 a game, it’s popular. This is of course great for the charitable aspect of the tournament, helping the players and organisation to raise the much needed funding and awareness, especially for the stopconcussions foundation, through a mixture of different means, raffles, shirt auctions and the like. Head injuries and concussions are something Noble believes just are not talked about enough in the sport and if something can be done to help bring it up in conversation? Then he’s happy to participate in that. If it takes him back to parts of Australia where he spent a year growing up, well that’s just an added bonus. When I asked how he got to be involved in it, he explained about how he had friends in the tournament who invited him along last minute to come and play and he couldn’t turn down such a great opportunity.
So what else has he been up to? Well, Noble and former Blaze player Chris Bruton run a hockey school in British Columbia, Canada for kids. He explains how it’s a year long job and that everyday he is doing something to do with the school, whether he’s in the UK or at home. He spent a month there at the beginning of the summer running camps. The aim of the camps is develop young talent in youths aged 5-14 and with the picturesque backdrop of the Rockies which makes it popular with the parents too. Just talking to him it’s obvious to see how passionate he is about developing the future generations of the game and having worked for the school for the last 12 years and owning it for the last 2, a lot of his summer goes into making sure that it is running right when he is overseas playing for the Blaze.
When he wasn’t busy playing for Canada or working at his hockey school Noble made a trip down to California to see friends, both old and new. Getting the chance to enjoy surfing and some well deserved relaxation time. Spending time both in San Francisco and and Santa Cruz with various friends one of which he met while in Australia.
And there you have it. Now you all know just what Kevin Noble did this summer. He’s now back in Coventry and raring to go with the new season, it seems that his albeit busy summer has paid off.
Feature image taken by Philip Roylance. If you don’t follow this guy for his amazing photography skills, then why not? He is currently selling copies of this image of Noble and many other members of the Blaze team with some money going back to the Coventry Blaze Ice Hockey team. If you’d like to purchase one in either A4 or A3, please contact Philip on either: Instagram: p_r_83 or Twitter: philip_roylance
Content originally published in September 2016 issue of OnFire