Time For IHUK To Bid
UK Sport has announced an ambitious plan for the UK to host some of worlds biggest sporting events. The government backed organisation has been given Â£27 million worth of National Lottery money to attract a ruck of World and European events and championships as well as Olympic and Para-Olympic qualifying events. The Gold Event Series is aimed at continuing the sport legacy of the 2012 London Olympics and has already helped to bring the Rugby League World Cup in 2013 and a round of Cyclingâ€™s Track World Cup Series to be hosted at Glasgowâ€™s new Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.
Whilst the Gold Event Series has already secured these events and 8 other World and European Championships UK sport is hoping to attract more by offering a support package to aid with the bidding process. After missing out on the 2011 World Championships and failing to host last weekends Pre-Olympic Qualifying Tournament Ice Hockey UK may now get a chance to redeem itself by bidding for the 2014 World Championships.
The UK has a world-class ice facility in the National Ice Centre in Nottingham and with rinks in Sheffield, Manchester and Coventry close by and with teams from Japan and Korea possibly in the group there can be plenty of opportunity for foreign teams to arrive early and train. Also given the relative success of the GB national team in recent years with a silver medal at the world champions and qualifying for final Olympic qualification it is obvious that there is support and an appetite for the national team. With the exception of a handful of friendly matches most fans in the UK have never had the chance to see the national team play a competitive match up.
Ice Hockey UK may have somewhat of an image problem with a lack of funding that has resulted in missing out on the chance to host the tournament in the past. Now with funding and expertise available to aid with the bidding process there can be no excuse.