Cost of inclusion in Ireland U-21 hockey squad rises to €750

Squad members told to make contribution toward cost of European Championships

The contribution is being asked of all players in the extended squad, some of whom will not make the final cut to represent Ireland in the European finals.

The contribution is being asked of all players in the extended squad, some of whom will not make the final cut to represent Ireland in the European finals.

 

Not for the first time an issue of cost has arisen in hockey that has caused parents some dismay. The financial burden of paying for their son’s inclusion in the Irish U-21 hockey squad has risen to €750 as the squad face into to the summer’s European Championships.

Squad members were recently told that they would have to contribute €750 each to compete in the championships, which take place this August in Valencia, Spain.

One parent in contact with this newspaper said they do not have €750 and added that the petrol costs associated with travelling to panel sessions as well as sticks, three or four of which could cost €1,000, is taking the game beyond their financial reach.

It is known that Hockey Ireland is low on funds following the national team’s preparation and inclusion in last year’s Olympic Games in Rio.

The contribution is being asked of all players in the extended squad, some of whom will not make the final cut to represent Ireland in the European finals.

The current squad of 31 players will ultimately be reduced to 18 for the summer event, where Ireland are in a pool with Germany, England (British hockey has 40 senior male players on full- or part-time contracts and have been awarded approximately €20 million for the four year cycle to Tokyo 2020) and Austria.

The Irish underage programs are all self funded for males and females at Under-16, U-18 and U-21 levels and the fear is that unless players make contributions the programs could disappear.

There are also seven of the U- 21 panel currently in the senior squad preparing for the World League event in Stormont later this month. Officials within the sport say they are working hard to arrange sponsorship in order to reduce the costs.

Saturday

EY Hockey League: Railway Union v Monkstown, Parks Avenue 2.15

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