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Hockey brutes trade skates for ballet shoes

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Hockey brutes trade skates for ballet shoes
10:38 CEST+02:00
Struggling Swedish professional hockey team Malmö Redhawks has opted for a strict regimen of ballet and yoga in an unorthodox effort to inspire winning ways after failing to win a place in the Elitserien, the country's top pro league.

“We wanted to mix it up a bit, we practice twice a day and we wanted to try new things,” said coach Ulf Taavola to The Local.

According to Taavola, hockey is a very "complex" sport and different types of exercise can serve as an inspiration.

By engaging in yoga and ballet, the players can benefit from a better balance, co-ordination and body image.

Sofia Nordgren, who will be taking the players through their new and unfamiliar moves, thinks that balance is key to dealing with heavy tackling.

“Sometimes shorter and smaller players can manage to body check better because they have a better sense of balance," she said to local paper Skånskan.

According to Nordgren, ballet training will enable players to work on their agility and speed and hopefully reduce their risk of injury.

But the players are unlikely to have to practice pirouetting, she assured the paper.

“Everyone could benefit from some ballet training,” she said.

The players of the team, which has been struggling recently with management and financial troubles, will have their first alternative training session on Wednesday.

According to Taavola, the response from the players to the new initiative has been positive.

“Of course we will have to evaluate what they think after the first training session tomorrow,“ he told The Local, adding that the Redhawk players don't think that ballet and yoga are silly forms of exercise.

Rebecca Martin

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