Leon Raj – Being an ice hockey player
Half Grind was founded by Leon Raj aged 9 in 2018. Leon is an ice hockey player and fan and he started playing aged 4 at the Chelmsford Ice Hockey Academy. In 2018, Leon joined the Romford Junior Raiders and throughout his playing career he has had the pleasure of being coached by Conference coaches, National coaches, Professional players (NHL, AHL, Elite League & EIHL) and NHL coaches.
The starting point of the journey was Leon’s dad (Azlan Raj) who used Instagram as a place to store memories of Leon’s ice hockey experiences. This was a way to keep all those fragmented memories in one place. Leon saw the posts that were being created and he asked if he could make videos to go onto the Instagram page. Those videos were a combination of product reviews, training/games and hockey tutorials. At this time, he thought it would be great if he had his own clothing brand and this is when Half Grind was born.
Half Grind – What does it represent?
Leon had previously wanted ice hockey causal clothes for himself but most of the current clothing brands were adult first. Leon wanted a brand that was kid-first. Half Grind was designed to meet this need whilst representing what was important to Leon, whilst also being personal to him.
- Half is the representation of children. Leon also likes to associate that to himself since he’s small for his age!
- Grind represents hard work. Everything about Half Grind is about ‘trying your best’ and nothing less. From the brand to the t-shirt captions, they’re designed to always motivate children to give it 100%.
- Leon’s strongest part of his game is probably his skating, so it’s fitting because he has a half inch grind on his skates too.
Where will Half Grind go next?
Leon has lots of ideas to bring out more clothing but everything he is doing is being funded by his own pocket money and has stemmed from his own ideas. It will take some time but with support, he wants to release a more diverse range of apparel and will be looking to continue to fulfill the mission of the brand and ensure that kid’s get a great range of clothing inspired by ice hockey.