IOWA CITY, IA—UI Sophomore, Dave Svac, does not remember his first hockey game, but that is because he was only six months old the first time his parents suited him up to go see a Pittsburg Penguins game. “My mom was scared to death that I would get hit with a puck,” explains Svac, whose life today brings him in and out of hockey rinks year-round.
“I was the quiet one in the locker room,” admits Svac who joined the University of Iowa Hockey Club Team his freshman year, but this humble demeanor did not stop the young athlete from stepping right up into the position as president of the club.
Svac insists his motivation behind stepping up to the large responsibilities comes from his deep rooted desire to improve the team and strengthen the organization. Almost the entire board was made up of graduating seniors and Svac says “I wanted to make sure that as a club that we didn’t break down after they left.”
Since his time helping to run the club team, Svac says he has focused a lot of his energies on giving back. The club hosts youth hockey camps throughout the year where players are not required to act as instructors, but many choose to participate as encouraged by Svac’s positive mentality. “I want them to have the great experiences that I had.”
Svac, like many amateur and professional hockey players, began his career on the ice when he was only four years old. Svac notes the importance of starting out early and developing the necessary core skills of the game (like skating) is another aspect of why he enjoys the youth hockey programs the club offers.
“In their eyes [the kids], we’re NHL players,” says Svac, who explained that between the relationships they built with the young players who attend the camps and the support from the parents, it’s just a great feeling to be a part of their experience. The club team even hosts miniature autograph signing sessions at the end of the camps, which are always well received by the youth.
Looking ahead, Svac continues to express his positive attitude towards building the club and building the name. Several projects are in the lineup for the team, some more readily attainable than others including the addition of a charter bus contract with Lamers Bus Lines for all away games this upcoming year.
The biggest jump for the hockey club team is going to that of attaining Division 1 and then NCAA status. Svac acknowledges that even this first step is at least ten years down the road, but that has not impeded his desire to motivate the team forward. “Keep everybody positive and get them to see the bigger thing,” says Svac in regards to his future trials as president of the club.
Hockey has always been a huge part of Svac’s life, who appreciates the opportunities he has been given to share the sport with his family and friends growing up. Today his focus is on giving back to his team and working to accelerate the club program forward towards its lofty goals down the road past his time here at Iowa. “It doesn’t matter that it’s not for us,” explains Svac “I’d rather be the one that started it.”