Hockey Ireland met with Japanese delegates from Iwate this morning to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the two parties for Hockey Ireland’s pre-Games Holding Camp this summer.
Iwate is located two hours North of Tokyo and will provide an ideal base for acclimatisation ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Games as a key Hockey town in Japan and a brand-new pitch for the pre-Games preparation.
Performance Director, Adam Grainger, said “The Hockey Ireland Holding Camp partnership with Iwate Town is a very welcome addition to the Senior Women’s programme as the team prepare for Tokyo 2020. This Holding Camp offers, a superb location for environmental acclimation and final preparation for The Games themselves, while also offering an opportunity to further develop the longstanding hockey relationship between Ireland and Japan.”
The squad will arrive in Iwate in early July, two weeks ahead of the Olympic Opening Ceremony, with the aim of the holding camp to adapt to playing conditions.
“Iwate Town is the perfect pre-games training base for the Irish Olympic Hockey team. While in Tokyo in December myself and Adam were welcomed to the town by Mayor Sasaki on a visit there, and we were very impressed with both the welcome and set up, and the high-class hockey facilities. We are confident that the Team Ireland hockey athletes will be looked after well and be able to prepare appropriately for the Games”, said Team Ireland Chef de Mission for the Tokyo Games, Patricia Heberle, was present at the MOU signing this morning.
Hockey Ireland CEO Jerome Pels said, “This is a very exciting time for us in Hockey Ireland. We are delighted to meet the Iwate delegates and look forward to the team travelling to Japan later this year. Mayor Sasaki and his delegation have already made us feel very welcome and it is only February!”
Image L-R: Hockey Ireland Performance Director, Adam Grainger; Team Ireland Chef de Mission, Patricia Heberle; Hockey Ireland CEO, Jerome Pels; Mayor Koji Sasaki of Iwate Town, Japan; Irish Women’s Hockey Player, Anna O’Flanagan; Tom Matsuoka, Interpreter for delegation, Sport Unity; and Assistant Manager of Social Education for Iwate Town, Naoki Osawa.