Professional services firm, EY, today announced their exclusive sponsorship of the newly formed Irish Hockey League. Covering all four provinces, the all-island EY Irish Hockey League will see 20 of Ireland’s top male and female clubs battle it out to become league champions over 19 weeks of exciting, fast-paced hockey.
The club competition is announced against the backdrop of recent international success, where both the men’s and women’s national sides took first place in World League 2. This will see the two teams progress through to the World Cup Semi-Finals in June – one step away from Olympic qualification for Rio 2016. Seen as an integral part of Irish hockey’s Olympic and World Cup preparation cycle, the EY Irish Hockey League will provide an opportunity to further develop high performance players for the challenge of international hockey.
Mike McKerr, Managing Partner for EY Ireland, said: “Building the highest performing teams is core to our success in EY and, when it comes to leadership, teaming and developing winning strategies, there is a great deal to learn from professional sports people. By supporting the highest performing teams in the sporting arena, as exemplified by the Irish Hockey League, we hope to expand on our own strategy to inspire effective and engaged teaming within our firm.”
The EY Irish Hockey League will showcase Ireland’s top players, such as Irish captain Megan Frazer, whose Ulster Elks team will take on the mighty UCD. On the men’s side, Banbridge’s Eugene Magee, who has amassed nearly 200 caps, will be pitched against one of Ireland’s most successful clubs of recent times, Monkstown.
Mike Heskin, CEO of Hockey Ireland, said: “We are delighted to have EY as the sponsor of the new EY Irish Hockey league, the most prestigious hockey competition in Ireland. Irish hockey has great ambitions and this is the competition that will showcase our elite club players and provide an opportunity for hockey to shine the length and breadth of Ireland with top quality hockey on display throughout the year.”
The third largest sport in the world, hockey is played across 260 schools and 165 clubs in Ireland, with over 144,000 participants. The first match of the Irish Hockey League will be taking place in September 2015 and will culminate in a final in April 2016.
For further information on the Irish Hockey League and upcoming matches, please go to www.hockey.ie