Why is Ice Hockey Becoming More Popular in the United Kingdom?
The people of the United Kingdom, it is fair to say, love their sports. With the likes of football, rugby, cricket, tennis, snooker, darts, golf, Formula 1, netball, and a bit of American football, you would think that they would have plenty of sport to enjoy. However, over the last couple of years, another sport has been growing in popularity, and that sport is ice hockey. As ice hockey is not that well-facilitated at grassroot levels, it is surprising that it is now the most popular indoor sport in the UK. But why has it become so popular? Well, keep on reading and you will find out.
The Elite Ice Hockey League, the major ice hockey league in the United Kingdom, has done everything it is power to ensure that there is a lot of hockey interaction throughout Britain. For example, they have made very good use of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. However, the part that UK gambling plays cannot be underestimated. Gambling is something that is very popular in the United Kingdom, and giving people access to games that have ice hockey as their major theme is only going to help boost the popularity of this sport.
When it comes to online casino gambling, there are now plenty of great ice hockey-themed slots that slot fans can enjoy, Some of the best ones include the likes of Ice Hockey by Playtech, Hockey Hero by Push Gaming, Break Away by Microgaming, and Hockey Hero by Real Time Gaming. If you are reading this from New Zealand and are looking for online casinos for New Zealand players, then follow the link provided and you will be able to find all of the best online casinos for kiwi players. To add to this, you will also find very valuable information about all the popular online casino table games.
Due to the different time zones, the world’s biggest ice hockey leagues such as the National Hockey League (which is made up of 24 teams from the US and 7 teams from Canada) are often being played at pretty inappropriate times for ice hockey fans in the United Kingdom. To add to this, due to broadcasting rights, it can often be very tricky to find channels where you can watch matches from the NHL. However, the Elite Ice Hockey League is available for ice hockey fans in the UK on BT, Sky, Virgin Tv, TalkTalk, Freeview, and Freesat on the channel FreeSports, meaning that ice hockey is now a sport that is more accessible than ever before. Freesat is a free channel, meaning you do not need to pay a penny for the privilege of watching some of the best ice hockey players in Britain compete against each other. When access to a sport is increased, no matter what sport it is, there is a very good chance that its popularity will drastically increase.
Great Britain’s Success is Helping Out
Ice hockey in the United Kingdom has been getting more attention lately due to the recent success that the national team has been having. If we are being honest, the Great Britain hockey team used to be pretty rubbish, but that was something to be expected when not a lot of importance was given to it as a sport. However, they have gradually improved over the years and have competed at the last few World Championships against the best ice hockey teams in the world. Okay, they have been defeated in most of their matches, but the fact that they qualified to compete against fifteen of the best teams in the world is a sure sign of progress.
Ice hockey in Britain gained more attention in 2018 when Liam Kirk, a talented youngster from Maltby, was signed by the Arizona Coyotes, who play in the NHL. This meant that Kirk was the first ice hockey player that was born and trained in the United Kingdom to be drafted into the best ice hockey league in the world. At the time of writing, he was playing with the Peterborough Petes who play in the Ontario Hockey League.
Another story that helped bring attention to ice hockey in Britain was when former Chelsea goalkeeper, Petr Cech, started to train for Guildford Phoenix after he retired from playing football. On the 13th October 2019, he had a debut to remember when he made a series of crucial saves and saved two penalties in a shootout to see his team to victory. He was subsequently named as Man of the Match, which is not a bad way to kick-start your ice hockey career.