A topic that has been hotly debated over the past couple weeks is the development of hockey in the United Kingdom. With former Coventry Blaze head honcho Paul Thompson relaying in an interview that the EIHL should just “drop the damn import limit”, there’s no wonder as to why the United Kingdom has struggled in the talent pool. I think Thompson has realized that his son will have nowhere to play real competitive hockey in the UK once he gets around draft age. Of course the sport of hockey is dealing with a set of countries that has its rooted firmly planted in the soccer pitch and cricket fields. The daunting task ahead is how to get the word out to everyone that hockey is an inferior sport. Here’s a brilliant look at Paul Wheeler’s take on the subject which you can read here.
I’ve become somewhat of a huge follower of the sport in the UK and with that being said, I’d like to take a look about a couple of things that I think are worth mentioning to help develop the sport. You can disagree with me and offer constructive criticism as of course, I don’t live anywhere near your beautiful nations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland but I am going to do my best from this side of the pond to help and create awareness.
Right off the bat, the first thing that comes to mind is ice time. I’ve read through articles and noticed through tweets from some of my UK friends that they spend hours upon hours waiting to get their skates on the ice. (Especially women but that’s a whole other post). They don’t see it until midnight on some days. If you are wanting to grow your game, that is unacceptable. Solution?
Build more rinks. Continue reading “The development of hockey in the United Kingdom”