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Charity aims to keep plans on ice

PUBLISHED: 16:28 11 February 2008 | UPDATED: 14:10 02 July 2010

David and Stevie Dunnage

David and Stevie Dunnage

BROKEN jaws, concussion and leg injuries would be enough to put most people off a hobby. But for two Dagenham brothers, their passion for ice hockey means they just keep coming back for more. Eastbrook pupils David Dunnage, 15, and younger sibling Stevie,

BROKEN jaws, concussion and leg injuries would be enough to put most people off a hobby.

But for two Dagenham brothers, their passion for ice hockey means they just keep coming back for more.

Eastbrook pupils David Dunnage, 15, and younger sibling Stevie, 12, play for the Romford Hornets and Romford Hurricanes teams.

Their dedication to the game has brought them rewards, with Stevie winning trials for England, and David just about to break into the senior ranks at Romford.

But competitive sport is an expensive business, and ice hockey, with its vast array of equipment, is more expensive than most.

This is where Barking and Dagenham's Living the Dream Trust could provide a vital boost.

The charity, set up by businesses and voluntary groups in the borough, and backed by the POST and the council, aims to give young sportsmen and women a decent chance of glory.

By raising money from businesses and individuals, the trust will provide grants to help the athletes compete on an equal playing field, and ultimately fulfil their potential.

Mum Claire said: "It's very expensive. Their club fees are £235 every three months and games are all over the country.

"Equipment is an enormous cost. To buy a pair of non-standard skates you're looking at £50 but for professional light weight skates it's £200 for Stevie, and £400 for David.

"Then you've got padding, helmets, neck guards, body armour, shin guards, the list goes on.

"Living the Dream would be a huge help because at the moment I'm a single parent. I get a lot of support from my mum and dad. They help me a lot and if it wasn't for them my boys wouldn't be doing what they are."

The worst injury suffered by the lads was David's broken jaw in 2006, but concussion is also a regular hazard due to the full contact nature of the sport.

Despite this the ultimate goal for the Dunnage boys is to make it into the Great Britain squad and compete at the Olympics.

Because it is a winter sport, ice hockey will not be on the schedule at the London games, but a good target would be the Russian Winter Olympics in 2014.

Living the Dream is trying to secure donations from businesses, and also from members of the public.

If you feel you could help out contact Steve Thompson on (020) 8592 1549 or Teresa Parish on (020) 8227 2012.

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