The newly elected Board of Hockey Ireland had its first meeting on Wednesday 16 December by conference call. We have all been affected by COVID-19, in these difficult and uncertain times, the Board as part of our ongoing work with Sport Ireland are delighted to announce that Sport Ireland has approved the allocation of €400,000 in response to our application under the Covid-19 Supplementary Scheme in the Republic of Ireland.
Further guidance will be given to Clubs and Branches regarding their applications in January 2021. We would like to thank the Government and Sport Ireland for this additional round of funding, which is crucial to the sustainability of the hockey community during the difficult circumstances caused by the Covid-19 restrictions.
For the Ulster Clubs, Sport NI and the Department for Communities has launched a £25 million Sports Sustainability fund and applications by hockey clubs can be made via Ulster Hockey.
Hockey Ireland is fully focused on the return to hockey; with recent announcements in relation to vaccines there is great hope as we move in to 2021. The Hockey Ireland Board has approved the outline of a submission to the Government that will be aimed at increasing hockey activity as a virtually non-contact sport and allowing for competition when it would be safe to do so. We are seeking priority for school aged players and hopefully we will be allowed return to competition in the early stages of 2021.
The Board would like to thank the clubs, branches and volunteers running our sport under the Covid-19 protocols, who have been successful in the safe and compliant running of training sessions and games. This will help to support our argument that we can run our sport safely.
It has been a difficult year and no doubt there will be more challenges ahead. However, we are looking forward to the opportunities ahead with great optimism and excitement. In particular, the prospect of seeing the Irish Women’s hockey team playing their games in Tokyo next summer. On behalf of Hockey Ireland, we would like to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
The Sport Ireland Press Release can be found HERE: https://www.sportireland.ie/news/eu58-million-in-covid-19-supplementary-funding-for-sport