Hey, I am Marek Lavorenti and I came to Eindhoven for my Ph.D. position within Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research which is fortunately connected to TU/e in a way so I was lucky to join the Icehawks in September 2020. I am from the Czech Republic but part of my family is Italian so that’s why the weird combo of first name-surname.
For how long have you been playing hockey? And for how long with the Hawks?
I started ice hockey when I was really a little kiddo about 4-5 years old and basically. I played for 10 years and then had some surgery and moved to high school so there was no time for hockey anymore. I started floorball and continued with that through my Uni studies as well. Fortunately, when moving to Eindhoven I bumped into the Icehawks and Ian motivated me to restart with hockey so now it has almost been a year with the team!
Why did you pick ice hockey?
Actually, my parents brought me to it because all the kids around in my village would play hockey at that time since some great players as Straka, Spacek and Sykora were from my place. Moving to the Netherlands I knew I wanted to pick some team sport and I am really enormously happy that I opted for ice hockey with the Icehawks!
What’s the best part of the sport for you?
I really like the speed and kind of recklessness on the ice. This really helps me to forget about everything off the ice and just focus on the puck and the opponent. I was always a more physical player so to say in both hockey and floorball and never hesitated to work hard for the team rather than collecting points in the charts.
What do you like the most about the team? What do you think makes us different from the rest?
I think there is a great team spirit in the team which is aided by the fact that we consist of many expats so everyone tends to be very open to others and we act as a kind of family that is always present in Eindhoven. When I moved to the Netherlands I didn’t know anyone around but the Icehawks really lifted me up so I am very thankful for that!
What’s your jersey number? Is there a reason for picking it?
When I was a kid I started with 25 being also the date of both my birthday and name day so kinda obvious. Later I switched for 9 and 88 where 88 was my best friends who brought me to floorball and really helped me grow sport-wise and when I moved out of my town it was to have him playing games with me every time.
Favorite moment with the Icehawks?
Well due to the Covid pandemic and restrictions around it was hard to really enjoy the team spirit full on but I liked how we met for the games in winter on the lakes around Eindhoven. What I will not forget is my first practices when I basically started again after 12 years and was really wobbly on the ice and Ian shouting at me to skate faster and me not being really able to understand that. Another thing that makes the team great-fun with friends but also the will to improve and push a bit the limits of yourself and the lazy ass.
What are you known for within the Icehawks?
Haha, this is the funny one as some thought I was from Bulgaria and they started calling me the Balkan boy. People from home normally call me Mára as an abbreviation of Marek but there might be nicknames evolving for me at a certain point when I start playing the games…
Do you have any weird/interesting pregame rituals?
Nah, not really. I just want my bottle to be full with drinks, my blades to be sharp and my muscles to be stretched. 3,2,1…Fire up!
What makes you keep coming to practices?
It is the people from the team that really cheer me up even after a tough day in the office or lab and the will to play the best game there is-ice hockey! I really enjoy the feeling of being free on the ice and just playing and pushing my limits beyond my comfort zone.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone looking to try hockey, what would it be? And why should they pick the Icehawks out of all the teams in the area?
I think hockey can really give you an overall movement ability and strength plus you are on the ice so if you are a winter person this is always a bonus! Just don’t be afraid of falling you will have enough protection pads and people will try to help you and teach you. And you should join the Icehawks because after reading this it would be a mistake to choose a different team!