Ice Hockey UK chairman Richard Grieveson believes a united governing body for the sport in the UK is closer than ever before.
The IHUK chief will attend the English Ice Hockey Association’s Annual General Meeting a week on Saturday, where he will put forward proposals for one governing body in the UK.
In the last eight months, Grieveson has attended meetings with the EIHA, SIH, EIHL and EPL as the governing bodies and stakeholders look to move the sport forward.
“My main objective when taking on this role was to create a unified national governing body,” said Grieveson.
“I’ve been speaking to key stakeholders, reviewing the structure and developing proposals for change driven by the outcomes of the strategic review, which was undertaken in 2015.”
Grieveson is attending the IIHF’s Semi-Annual Congress in Paris this week and he reveals the international governing body’s president, Rene Fasel, is still keen to see the issue in the UK addressed.
“I had a good discussion with Mr Fasel at Congress in Russia earlier this year and he has since written to me as part of this process,” added Grieveson.
“Mr Fasel is critical of the current arrangements, describing the model for the development and delivery of the sport in the UK as ‘broken’ and I know he made comments publicly to the BBC.
“He has challenged me to change and address the current position, so that the UK can finally achieve its potential on a world stage.”
Grieveson is keen to point out that there should be a new organisation and that the whole process should continue to engage with key stakeholders within UK ice hockey.
“Critical in all of this is that we need a new national governing body and the key word here is new,” said Grieveson.
“The process in reaching this goal requires an open, transparent and consultative approach to be designed by all involved to ensure that the sport can be successful in the future.
“This is not Ice Hockey UK taking over everything.
“This is a new, fit-for-purpose organisation which will undertake the roles and functions of the current national governing bodies, but will do it better and in a joined up way.
“We have to ensure that everyone in the sport is working together and, if we are totally honest, that hasn’t happened for a number of years.
“I will be presenting my vision to the IHUK board on the 13th September and then the EIHA AGM on the 17th September is a real milestone.
“I would like to see as many clubs and stakeholders at the AGM as I think this is a tremendously exciting time and a massive opportunity for our sport.
“I would really like the opportunity to present that to the membership of the EIHA.
“This will only happen if the membership at large want it to happen and hopefully that will be the case.
“I believe strongly the direction of travel is the right one and thereafter we can move forward together in a positive way for ice hockey in the UK.”