The Peterborough DALROD Phantoms sponsored by Evolve Technologies are delighted to hear of an Ex-player and founder of the Peterborough Islanders Grant Budd has been awarded the Queens Certificate and Medal for his contribution to sport in the Falklands.
In 1998, Grant left the UK for the Falklands to run a successful business, as the business grew and Grant settled and started a family he ground his roots on the Island. Although Grant had left the UK, his legacy remained in the form of the Peterborough Islanders, his beloved team that he had founded along with Carl Stripling and Julian Penchek. In 2017 this very team celebrated success in winning the treble within their respective league and it was a pleasure for Grants son Malachi to be there to witness this great achievement. With the Islanders on a high, it was an apt time to look at taking the team into the umbrella of the Phantoms organisation and be united as one team. In 2017/18 season the Islanders were renamed the Peterborough Phantoms NIHL2.
Grant had a long history not only in Ice Hockey but also in Figure Skating which is where it all started in 1982 when the East Of England Arena opened. Grant travelled to train in Nottingham as a figure skater, even being honoured to have been coached by the British legendary skater and Olympic Gold medalist Jayne Torvil. But as hockey became a hit in his home town and kids started playing roller hockey in the streets, it wasn’t long before Grant and his brother Rob were taking to the parks to play the game we all love.
Grant and Rob were fortunate enough to be living next to the Pirates rented house, with players John Lawless and Rob Carnegie living there. The Canadian duo were often out playing with Grant and Rob, teaching them all the stick handling skills they knew.
In 1983, Grant started his Peewee and junior games with Peterborough and his career continued to rise from there, with his first senior debut being made in 1988/89 season with the Nottingham Panthers. The following year Grant returned back to Peterborough ice with the Pirates under Cam Plant but unfortunately, Grant was involved in a car accident on his way back from training, breaking both legs. Grant did make a full recovery and returned to play another 62 senior games for the side.
As the years went by Grant continued to be included in the Hockey world and when the devastating news came through that the ice rink had been vandalised in 1993, Grant didn’t hesitate to work tirelessly with an incredible group of fans, players and management to rebuild and repair the rink. Grants name proudly sit alongside a long list of helpers and fundraisers on the Roll of Honour, which is still situated at the bottom of the stairs to the Ice Rink bar.
As the club rebuilt from these devastating times, it was only 3 seasons later that Grant, Julian and Carl founded the Peterborough Islanders. The team was formed on the ethos of being a correctly managed feeder team to the Seniors, giving somewhere for the junior players to move to after the U19’s and develop experience within a senior team. Current players playing for the Peterborough Phantoms that have come through the Islanders include Robbie Ferrara and Nathan Pollard, but over the time we have seen many players play within both teams and this list continues to grow, with Grant, Carl and Julian’s vision is still continuing to this day.
After only a few years Grant left for the Falklands, but the Hockey certainly went with him, as he began teaching kids to play Deck and In-line hockey. As always Grants aspirations didn’t stop there and before the Falklands knew it Grant had formed the FI Dek Hockey Association in 2006. Currently, Dek Hockey is the fastest growing sport in the South Atlantic. The Island has yet to build a rink but Grant instils into all his players the skills of Ice Hockey enabling then to transfer from wheels to blades very easily. With the hard work and determination, it was a testament to Grant when he entered 7 teams in various age groups, boys, girls and seniors to the Punta Arenas Mega Patagonian Ice Hockey Tournament in Chile. In this tournament an astounding 4 of the 7 teams won GOLD!
Grant has made a huge impact to sport on the Island as well as the lives of the Islanders, so it comes as no surprise that in October 2018, Grant was awarded with the Queens Certificate & Medal for his contributions to Sport in the Falklands Islands.
The Peterborough Phantoms organisation would like to say how proud we are of Grant and his association to our club and with his son Malachi, aged 14 recently obtained a scholarship (through sponsorship) to play Ice Hockey in Edmonton Canada, Grants Ice Hockey legacy will continue. Malachi’s achievement really does show what Grants astounding coaching skills and the hard work has achieved as a scholarship to play Ice Hockey in Canada, is not bad for a kid that has no Ice Rink in his native Country.