Issue date: 14 January 2010
The University of the West of England will play host to world class indoor hockey games over the next two weekends, as the final matches in the England Hockey Indoor Men's Premier Division and the first matches in Men's Division 1 get underway.
Richard Bennett, Sports Performance Manager at the UWE Centre for Sport, said, “The University is proud to be working in partnership with England Hockey. The competition standard Sports Hall located within UWE's Centre for Sport will be used as the venue for the event. Teams will be travelling from all over the UK to play here in Bristol.
“With most outdoor sport called off for the weekend this will provide a great opportunity for local hockey fans to see some of England's best indoor players, right here in Bristol. The team at the Centre for Sport have worked hard this week to make sure the event goes ahead, despite the weather".
The Premier league is the highest standard indoor hockey in the UK with the top four teams qualifying to enter into the National Indoor Hockey Championships at the Trent FM Arena.
Local hockey interest comes in Division 1 with Team Bath Buccs lining up against Stourport at 15.00 on Sunday and Maidstone at 18.00 later on the same day.
Games are set to begin from 10:00 when former champions Reading take on St Albans. Current title holders East Grinstead take on bottom placed Havant at 12.15. Matches continue all day on Saturday until 19:45 and run from 9:00 to 18:00 on Sunday.
There is seating for 150 spectators to watch the matches, and England Hockey has taken the unprecedented decision to shorten games to 15 minutes each way rather than the normal 20 due to time lost last weekend due to the snowy conditions throughout the country.
The finals are due to be held on 30-31 January 2010 at the Trent FM Arena Nottingham following four years hosting at the NIA in Birmingham.
The strong partnership between England Hockey and UWE began in 2007 when the consortium between UWE and the Universities of Bristol and Bath was chosen to be a National Performance Centre. National players aged 18 are encouraged to apply to one of the three universities so that they can meet more regularly for mentoring and training by English Hockey staff.
UWE's Centre for Sport in Frenchay, Bristol has a state of the art complex featuring a floodlit Astroturf Pitch, Sports Hall and Two fully equipped fitness suites. It also has a team of dedicated sports performance staff to support students at Elite Athlete levels throughout their time at UWE.
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