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With sold-out notices being pinned up in the Elite League by the likes of Braehead Clan and Cardiff Devils, it could be argued that clubs at the top end of the British game are enjoying something of a boom.

Further down the scale has seen investment in the EPL for teams such as Telford Tigers and Manchester Phoenix, all of which suggests the sport is an attractive proposition.

While clubs at all levels rely on fans and volunteers to help support different aspects of their operations, this is perhaps most needed in our National Leagues.

Scottish outfit Paisley Pirates have recently been boosted by the formation of a Supporters Club which has already begun to provide vital lifeblood to enable the team to remain sustainable.

The Paisley Pirates Supporters Club (PPSC) was formed after a few loyal enthusiasts were asked to help set up a fans’ group, aimed at taking some of the many duties associated with running one of Scotland’s most successful amateur ice hockey clubs away from the main management team.

Pirates’ Secretary Jackie Turley, a recent winner of Community Sports Volunteer Award, commented: “Running a club as large as the Pirates is a 24/7 operation, and we’d felt for a while that we’d certainly welcome assistance from a like-minded group.

“While not actually helping with the actual day-to-day management of the club, they could focus on specific areas such as fund-raising, running social events, and generally taking some of the strain away from the relentless tasks involved in keeping the Pirates on the ice, and their assistance has been of enormous help to us.”

The Supporters Club has already run one successful social night, with another planned for the New Year. Other fund-raising initiatives have been introduced and fans are being encouraged to join up to ensure the club can keep its head above water.

PPSC Chairman Bill Elliot said: “It’s great that fans have the opportunity to directly contribute to keeping the team on the ice, by supporting the events the Supporters Club organises and by actually joining the club they can have more of a direct say in what we do, as well as helping the Pirates get bigger and stronger.

“We’ve set ourselves a target of £1,000 to donate to the Pirates over the course of the season and with their help, I’m in no doubt that we’ll do just that.

“We all want to see the Pirates be all that they can be, and by this type of support we can help maintain the club’s position as one of the foremost in Scottish National League ice hockey.”

Paisley Pirates’ Treasurer Stacey Kerr is shown above receiving a cheque for £300 from the Secretary of the Supporters Club, Marie Cadenhead, during the recent 6-4 win over Aberdeen Lynx.

(Image permission: Al Goold Photo)

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