ICE HOCKEY COMMUNITY NO LONGER SKATING ON THIN ICE...
Embargoed until 12.01am on 26 August, 2016
Ice Hockey ACT (IHACT) today welcomed Labor's commitment to develop and plan for a new ice sports facility in the ACT if they win government at the October ACT election.
The Labor Party announcement detailing a partnership with the ACT Ice Sports Federation was "fantastic news" according to IHACT's president, Allan McLean.
"We are very excited at the thought of playing ice hockey in a new, larger facility with the potential to grow our sport," McLean said.
"This is, for the local ice hockey community, the best and most important announcement for our sport since the opening of the current facility more than 30 years ago.
"It will help us continue to build our sport as well as develop elite players for ACT and Australian representative sides," he said.
There are currently 400 registered men, women, boys and girls participating in regular competitions at a variety of skill levels, as well as the Canberra Brave competing in the Australian Ice Hockey League, and as many as 8 players selected for national team honours in the coming 12 months.
"The potential to expand our sport and thus enable more people to play will benefit the ice hockey community by creating more teams and allowing greater competition," McLean said.
"With more players in the junior level, we can be more competitive in national competitions, and more age groups could join the U/18 representative travel team competing in the NSW competition.
"We see great opportunities to build partnerships with government, business and community organisations in the future to better utilise the ice, which will also allow the growth trajectory our sport has experienced over recent years to continue.
"At the senior levels, our men’s and women's ice hockey has been bursting at the seams, restricted from expansion due to the lack of ice time.
"This announcement will eventually offer up a great opportunity for all those who have been unable to participate in the fastest team sport in the world to come out and enjoy the thrills and spills of ice hockey.
"Ice rink design as well as new water freezing technology and multi-purpose configurations have progressed so far since the ‘80s, so this is a very timely commitment.
"We've been skating at the best ice rink in Canberra since it opened in 1980, and this announcement tells me the future of ice hockey in the ACT is looking better than ever now," McLean added.
For further information/interviews/pic-ops, call: Al McLean M: 0419 777 261