In a record-breaking move, UK Sport is set to invest £900,000 in Ice Hockey UK ahead of the 2026 Winter Olympic cycle.
According to the sport’s governing body, the funding will be used to “create a GB High-Performance Academy”, an “Elite Coaching Development” programme, and “allocated to the women’s game to build on recent successes”.
Money will also be spent on creating a junior three-on-three initiative, designed to fall in line with the new format for the Youth Olympic Games.
Clifton Wrottesley, chair of Ice Hockey UK, said: “To have UK Sport partner with Ice Hockey UK and for UK Sport to have the confidence to invest into ice hockey’s performance programmes in the UK, speaks volumes for the potential of our sport in this country. We have flown below the radar for far too long.
“Although we have much of the necessary infrastructure and facilities in place already in the UK, we hope to build on our relationships with all of our partners in ice hockey so that we can direct this investment into the areas we have identified with UK Sport as having the best potential over the Milan-Cortina Olympic cycle, then to 2030 and beyond.”
Ice Hockey UK’s funding boost arrives at a time of unprecedented success for Team GB, including promotion to Division 1 of the Women’s World Championship and the men’s three-year stay amongst the world’s elite.
UK Sport: ‘I believe there is a sport for everyone’
Sally Munday, CEO of UK Sport, added: “Our investment for the Milan-Cortina cycle aims to harness a broad talent pool which reflects the diversity of British society. I believe there is a sport for everyone and one strength of our Winter Olympic and Paralympic sports is that they can engage a broad fan and participation base.
“This investment would not be possible without the ongoing funding from the government and The National Lottery, enabling British athletes access the world-class training and support they need to succeed on the world stage.
“The eight funded sports are set to reap the benefits of this vital investment at Olympic and Paralympic level, whilst also providing the athletes with the platform to inspire future generations.”