Statement from IHA Board and Players
STATEMENT FROM THE BOARD OF THE IRISH HOCKEY ASSOCIATION
Firstly, the Board wishes to make an unreserved apology to all fans of Irish Hockey and in particular to the Senior Men's squad for the upset, disappointment and anger caused by the announcement made last Tuesday.
The Board arrived at the regrettable decision to withdraw the team from the Champions Challenge as a result of a number of factors. These were the belated move by the FIH of the World League from May 2013 to February 2013 which has budgetary implications for the IHA, the budgeted cost of the trip to Argentina and the late withdrawal of the interim coach and manager on personal grounds. When the IHA set about preparing the budgets for 2012, it was recognised that it was going to be a huge year for hockey in Ireland and it has proven to be so. An additional € 108,225 was allocated to High Performance and, to match this, the IHA identified a significant fundraising campaign in the form of the IHA Mega Draw. As we plan for the last quarter of the financial year it is evident that the Association will finish the year with a significant deficit if the trip to Argentina goes ahead without any additional income being generated.
The Board recognises and lauds the achievements of this squad not only in 2012 but in the last number of years. They have brought huge pride to Irish Hockey and continue to do so, rising to a World Ranking of 15. The Board wants the work that the squad and their support staff have put in to be rewarded but the unfortunate position in which we find ourselves makes Argentina financially unviable, unless we can raise € 45,000. The FIH has given us until Tuesday evening next to confirm or otherwise our participation at this event. The Board want the squad to participate but need the help of the hockey public in getting them there. There are a number of ways hockey fans can assist in raising funds for this trip as follows:
In the meantime the IHA will continue to work with stakeholders to address the funding shortfall and the High Performance Working Group will appoint a coach and manager for this trip if the funding target can be achieved. Irish Hockey has built up a huge reputation as a playing nation on the World stage; the Board is staunchly behind this progress and wants it to continue. We know all Hockey fans do also. Please support the Fund for Argentina.
On behalf of The Management Board of the IHA
Statement from the Irish Senior Men's Hockey team
The Irish Senior Men would like to thank the Irish Hockey Community for their unreserved support since Tuesday morning. We are on an incredible journey, and you have been there with us from the beginning. The squad wants to continue that journey, to Rio 2016, and your reaction to what happened on Tuesday showed that you too have a deep desire for this to happen. We as a squad truly value this.
The Board have apologized and have committed to us that they will sit down once we have completed the Champions Challenge phase and address any unanswered questions that remain. In the meantime we have an opportunity to fund the team to travel and compete in Argentina.
The Board has provided us with an opportunity to work together with them in order to raise these funds through a donation page, the Mega Draw, and player sponsorship. The Mega Draw represents a great opportunity for us to work together and sell the remaining tickets at €10 each. These tickets are available at your clubs and on-line for purchase. We are appealing to you, the public, to help us sell all remaining tickets, donate money or sponsor a player and fund the trip to Argentina!
The Irish Men's team self-fund home training camps including travel, meals, home-hosting and flights from the continent at their own cost to ensure we maximise money available for our High Performance program. In the same manner, we are also looking at opportunity to drive down costs of the trip to Argentina. Working together, we can achieve the required €45,000 through fund raising and cost minimising.
Again - THANK YOU all for your incredible support since Tuesday. Our next critical date is Tuesday October 9th, when the IHA must confirm our attendance at the tournament with the FIH. Our opportunity is to make a huge dent in the required fundraising amount to enable the Board to make this decision, and follow this up by completing the fundraising in the days and weeks after.
We are truly grateful to have such a special sporting public getting behind us. Help us to fund the trip to Argentina! We will keep working and training to improve, keep breaking barriers and keep pushing towards our World Cup and Olympic dreams.
Yours in hockey,
Irish Senior Men's Captain
For and on behalf of the Irish Senior Men's Squad