Dean Lahan Aims For Gold


Dean Lahan, a dedicated Pets at Home colleague, has been chosen to represent Great Britain at the World Para-Ice Hockey Pool B Championships in Skien, Norway. The event will take place from April 12th to 21st, where Dean will compete against teams from Norway, Germany, Sweden, Kazakhstan, and France.

Dean has been playing para-ice hockey for nearly a decade, having also competed in the World Championships in 2019. His passion for the sport started at secondary school, when he was encouraged by his coach, Pat, to try ice hockey. Since then, Dean has been committed to honing his skills on the ice, training tirelessly at Widnes Ice Hockey Rink with both his local team (once a week) and national squad (three times a month).

Dean’s journey to the World Championships is not without its challenges. Despite representing his country, the GB para-ice hockey program remains unfunded, requiring athletes like Dean to self-fund their participation. Pets at Home are supporting Dean on this journey, but with expenses for equipment, accommodation, ice rink rental and flights totalling almost £1,800, Dean has set up a GoFundMe page. 

Joining Pets at Home in 2021, Dean started as a store colleague in the Handforth Pet Care Centre after he graduated from university with a degree in Animal Care and Management. Demonstrating his excellent capabilities and passion for animals, he swiftly transitioned into training as a dog groomer through Pets at Home’s ‘Power to your Paws’ program. In August 2023, Dean further showcased his versatility by joining the Visual Merchandising Team at the Pets Support Office.

Reflecting on his selection, Dean expressed gratitude for the support he’s received from Pets at Home, saying: “Being asked to represent Great Britain at the Para-Ice Hockey Championships is a real honour and dream come true. Years of hard work and countless hours on the ice have led to where I am today, and I wouldn’t have been able to dedicate so many hours to my hobby without the support and flexibility from my team at Pets. I’d like to thank everyone for their support, on and off the ice, and hope I make them all proud in Norway.”

Heather Ellis (Operational Excellence Lead at Pets at Home) said: “We are incredibly proud to see Dean’s hard work and dedication paying off and he is getting to represent his country at international level. His commitment, both in his professional role at Pets at Home and his athletic pursuits, is truly inspiring. We’re thrilled to support him in this exciting journey and wish him the best of luck at the World Championships.”
To support Dean on his journey, please visit his Go Fund Me page here.

Date: 15/04/2024

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Dean on ice in the previous World Para Ice Hockey