The new state of the art hockey pitch at the Sport Ireland Campus was officially opened by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross TD, providing a welcome boost to Ireland’s national hockey teams ahead of their pivotal Tokyo 2020 qualification matches against Canada.
The surface is a Polytan Polygras Toyko GT surface the same surface that will be used at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and the 2022 World Cup.
Speaking at the opening today which was attended by senior international players, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross TD, said: “I am delighted to officially open this magnificent facility, a new high performance training pitch for Irish hockey into the future. I am sure that this new world- class hockey pitch at the Campus will be of great benefit for our teams in terms of preparing for Tokyo 2020 and beyond. I want to take this opportunity to wish all of our athletes and teams well in their bids to qualify for Tokyo and in their preparations for the Olympics and Paralympics next year.”
Construction of the pitch was completed in recent weeks and has been utilised by both squads, providing a timely boost ahead of their crucial Olympic Qualifiers.
Chairman of Sport Ireland, Kieran Mulvey, commented: “Following a remarkable period of success by our national teams, Sport Ireland is delighted to be in a position to provide world class facilities for our hockey players here on the Sport Ireland Campus. This development makes a clear statement that the Sport Ireland Campus is the home of high performance hockey in Ireland. The completion of the hockey pitch is another important milestone for Sport Ireland, which recently added Phase 2 of the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena and Irish Rugby’s training centre to the long list of world class facilities on the Sport Ireland Campus. I would like to wish both the Women’s and Men’s senior international teams the very best in their respective qualification matches against Canada.”
Both Irish senior squads have been utilising the pitch in their preparations for their upcoming Olympic qualifiers and continue to avail of the range of training supports and professional services offered by the Sport Ireland Institute.
Sport Ireland Chief Executive, John Treacy, added: “The location of the pitch here at the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus allows all national players to avail of existing science, medicine and lifestyle support services through the Sport Ireland Institute. This pitch will not only be a huge boost to them, but also to our up and coming players who will no doubt have been inspired by the recent performances of our women’s and men’s teams.”
Chair of Sport Ireland’s National Sports Campus Committee, Patrick O’Connor, said: “The opening of the Sport Ireland Hockey Training Centre is the latest world-class facility to open on the Sport Ireland Campus. The development of this new pitch alleviates the need for Irish teams to travel abroad to train, giving them access to the latest in pitch technology here in Ireland. The construction of the pitch, coupled with the other extensive facilities on the site, opens up opportunities to attract other major international teams here to the Sport Ireland Campus.”
The Ireland Men’s squad have recently travelled to Belgium for their final preparation matches ahead of their Vancouver qualifier which will take place on the 26th and 27th of October. The Women’s squad are currently in camp in their final phases of their preparations. They travel to Germany next week for a two-match series before returning home to face Canada in their Olympic qualifier on the 2nd and 3rd of November.
Speaking at the opening of the pitch, Eric Brady, Chairman of Hockey Ireland, said: “Hockey Ireland is delighted the pitch on the Sport Ireland Campus is now open. This new FIH standard pitch will be a huge asset to our international teams in their training for world class tournaments and events, especially considering its close proximity to the other Sport Ireland facilities such as the Sport Ireland Institute. This great addition to the Sport Ireland Campus will also provide a world standard, state of the art hockey surface for all Hockey Ireland’s development and underage teams to practice and compete on, as they strive to emulate the achievements of the current Women’s and Men’s teams.”
The Green Army – Ireland Senior Women – will play the only Olympic qualifier, in any sport, on Irish soil this year on the 2nd and 3rd of November. Tickets for the qualifiers can be purchased here: https://www.hockeyqualifierticketsdublin.com/