Great Britain’s Women’s team will be in good hands when they play in their Olympic qualifying group this week in Nottingham.

Glasgow Clan doctor Marina Chitoni is working with Ice Hockey UK and IIHF this week assisting with any medical issues and administering Covid tests to all the players and staff this week.

And as Marina enjoys the new experience of working at a major ice hockey tournament, she revealed she actually dismissed the idea of being involved at first.

“The role came about totally by chance,” she said. “There was an advert put out by Ice Hockey UK a few months ago and I dismissed it as the tournament was meant to be in South Korea.

“It wasn’t for me because of Covid and one or two other things so I left it. A few months later, Dr Matt Robbins, the CMO at Ice Hockey UK, contacted me to try and get me to reconsider to try and get me on board.

“I gave it some thought and wondered if there would be another occasion so I agreed, where I would have been looking after Team GB in Korea.

“But the tournament switched to Nottingham because of Covid restriction so instead of working with GB, I’m now working with Ice Hockey UK and IIHF in helping with Covid tests.

“We’re looking after everyone who’s coming in from all the countries, including officials and such like so it’s been incredibly busy already.”

Marina took us into the camp and gave an idea of what it’s been like as the tournament gets ready to start on Thursday, with GB playing Iceland in their opening game.

And she revealed despite her proud Italian heritage, is very much on board supporting Mike Clancy’s team this week.

“There’s been a lot of buzz around in the last few days and Covid isn’t stopping, so we’re making sure everyone is wearing their masks and generally staying safe,” she added.

“For me, it’s a total brain storm and I didn’t know anyone here, but people, including one or two famous faces, come up and talk to you, which is really good.

“It’s a matter of being organised, taking care of the Covid procedures and any minor injuries that may came up. My patients at work are usually very different.

“I’ll be very much be a GB supporter and I always am. My loyalties are split when Italy come into it, but that won’t be the case this time.”

But her heart belongs in Glasgow and at Braehead and Marina, like everyone with an affinity for the Clan, is looking forward to the new season in a few weeks time.

“I can’t wait to come back for the new season with the Clan in a few weeks and it’s all getting exciting from that point of view,” she said.

“It’s going to be so good to see everyone again. It’s been so long and it’ll be nice to be back in the arena seeing the team.”

Neil Tucker

Neil has written on ice hockey for many websites concentrating on British ice hockey mostly. Neil also covers ice hockey in other countries and organises his Blueliner Hockey Tour. A graduate of the Manchester Metropolitan University Neil turned his hand to hockey writing in 2009. As well as contributing on Blueliner Hockey Neil has contributed to Get Real Hockey and Slapshot Magasine.

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