International hockey programme cancelled for summer 2020
As the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic continues to significantly challenge the sporting calendar, Scottish Hockey has confirmed the cancellation of the remainder of the summer programme for all Scotland senior and age group national teams.
This means there will be no international matches played until at least the end of August.
It has become clear that preparing international athletes to a level where international competition is meaningful is now not possible this summer given the timescales available. This is even before the current restrictions on travel, accommodation, social distancing and access to facilities, and their lifting, are considered.
During lockdown our athletes have not been able to train at full capacity. As restrictions are gradually lifted, we will follow sportscotland’s advice on graduated return to full fitness. This will see several weeks of additional strength and conditioning work being put in before we can start training at the required levels for international athletes, and then a further number weeks before teams could reasonably play at international level.
Access to facilities in the short term is not possible restricting opportunities for athletes to prepare for competition as part of the planned summer programme.
It is Scottish Hockey’s drive to ensure our senior and junior athletes are given the opportunities to continue their development, and represent their country, as soon as possible. Any potential training activity will be dependent on the Scottish Government’s guidance.
Commenting on the cancellations Head of Performance for Scottish Hockey, Andy Tennant, said, “We are obviously disappointed that there will be no competitive international hockey this summer. It has become clear that even with the recent easing of lockdown measures, and the release of the Scottish Government route map out of the crisis, it will not be possible to access facilities in the short term or for us to be able to prepare our athletes for competition in time to save the summer programme.”
He added “While I am sure we are all keen to return to hockey as soon as possible, given that the risk from Covid-19 is still very real we will be taking a cautious approach to returning our performance athletes to any formal collective activity. As a result, we have no plans for our performance athletes to return to the pitch during Phase 2 of the Scottish Government route map.
“You can be assured however that we are working hard in the background, planning the appropriate way and time to return to training. We will be doing everything in our power to make sure both our senior and junior athletes are given the opportunities they deserve to continue their development and represent their country on the field of play as soon as it is safe and reasonable to do so.”
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