HC Deb 12 May 2004 vol 421 c324W
Lady Hermon

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assistance is provided by her Department to Ice Hockey UK. [172077]

Mr. Caborn

Ice Hockey is classified as an Olympic sport and as such funding decisions are a matter for UK Sport.

The top priority for UK Sport is the provision of support for those senior athletes/teams operating at a UK/GB level who have realistic chances of winning medals at the highest level (Olympic Games/World Championships within the current Olympic cycle).

UK Sport have informed us that in recent years, GB Ice Hockey has been unable to provide evidence that it can meet this criteria and has not, therefore, received support from UK Sport.

There is scope for developing talent via the home country Sports Councils but sports would be assessed against a number of criteria. Ice Hockey has not been deemed a priority at present by Sport England.

However, UK Sport does acknowledge that if GB athletes are to win medals in the Winter Olympics, in the longer term, some form of support needs to be provided. In recognition of this, UK Sport is in discussion with a number of partners, including an Olympic Winter Sports Group. Ice Hockey UK is represented on the Winter Olympic Sports Group.

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