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, yesterday, 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.
“I am delighted to officially open this magnificent facility, a new high performance training pitch for Irish hockey into the future,” said Minister Ross.
“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. Both sides play Canada for a place at the Olympics. The Men’s team are away while the Women’s team will host Canada in a double header to be staged at Energia Park in Donnybrook.
“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,” said Sport Ireland Chairman Kieran Mulvey.
“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.”
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.
“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.” said Sport Ireland CEO John Treacy.
“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.”
Image Credit: David Fitzgerald, Sportsfile