Ice Hockey UK (IHUK) have appointed Wharton Consulting to undertake a structure and governance review of ice hockey in the UK, covering all of the national ice hockey governing bodies; English Ice Hockey Association (EIHA), Scottish Ice Hockey-UK (SIH-UK), Ice Hockey Northern Ireland (IHNI) and the UK Elite League (EIHL).

The purpose of the review is to demonstrate good governance and structure both for the sport’s participants and for stakeholder organisations such as the International Ice Hockey Federation, British Olympic Association, UK Sport and the home nation Sports Councils and UK Anti-Doping, in order to help develop and achieve objectives and open up better potential for funding for the sport in the future.

IHUK interim chairman, Jim Anderson, said: “All of the organisations have come together to approve this review of the sport’s structure. This review will be all-encompassing throughout ice hockey in the UK and will be open and transparent. This will also be a legacy for the sport once completed and implemented.”

Wharton Consulting personnel have 53 years’ experience of working in sports development, management and governance and have worked extensively in Rugby Union and Rugby League. They have also been prominent in the emergence of the new franchise-based league structure within the domestic Netball Superleague.

Neil Tunnicliffe, Principal of Wharton Consulting, said: “We’re delighted to have been selected by IHUK to support what is obviously a hugely important piece of work for the future of ice hockey within the UK and also internationally. We’re looking forward very much to returning to a sport where we have worked previously, having conducted reviews on behalf of UK Sport in 2007 and more recently for the BOA in 2012. We very much hope that our experience of working with professional team sports, and with governance structures which span UK and home nation levels, professional and amateur spheres, will be of benefit to ice hockey as it contemplates change in order to better fulfil its objectives at domestic and international levels.”

IIHF and UK-based official, Joy Johnston, said: “I am delighted to see that our governing bodies are working together to review the structure of ice hockey in the UK overall. Having been to many international tournaments, I can see it is vital for our different organisations to work together. If we want ice hockey in GB to grow, develop and have a chance of international success, then we need to ensure we are structured in the best way possible.

“In my day job I work for UK Sport and advise national governing bodies on governance. We promote and require good governance from all of our funded sports because we believe it helps lead to success on the field on play. I hope this can be the case for ice hockey so that it can give to others the opportunities and experiences that I have been lucky enough to have.”

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