Two Coventry Blaze players were on hand to help officially launch the international match between Great Britain and Poland at the Skydome next month.
Ashley Tait – who last year became only the second GB player to reach 100 camps – and James Griffin met the Polish Ambassador, Mr Wiltold Sobków, along with representatives from Coventry City Council at the Council House.
The game takes place at the Skydome on Friday 10th April (7:30pm) as GB prepare for the IIHF World Championship in Eindhoven the following week.
The Coventry Sports Network is tasked with delivering the Coventry Sports Strategy and this is one of the first of many high-profile events that they aim to bring to the city – in order to create and inspire a sporting city.
The event is being supported by Coventry City Council, Coventry Sports Foundation and Wasps, the Aviva Premiership rugby club.
Paul Breed, CEO of Coventry Sports Foundation, said: “It is great for Coventry to be welcoming both the Great Britain and Poland ice hockey teams to the city.
“Coventry Sports Foundation are always delighted to support international events coming to Coventry, in the belief that high-profile sporting events help to inspire people into taking part in and enjoying sport and physical activity.”
Councillor Abdul Salam Khan, Cabinet Member for Sport, said: “I’m delighted that we are hosting an international match between Great Britain and Poland.
“We have a growing reputation as a city that puts on great sporting events and games like this are a wonderful opportunity for existing supporters to see an international game – and for people who have never seen ice hockey before to give it a go.
“We are committed to encouraging more people to take part in, and enjoy sport at all levels, and events like this are sure to help.”
Nick Eastwood, Wasps Deputy Chairman, said: “We are delighted to announce our partnership with the British men’s national ice hockey team for their games against Poland in Nottingham and at Coventry’s Skydome on 10th April.
“Since the news was first announced of our move to Coventry last year, we have been overwhelmed with the warm welcome we have received from the people of Coventry and Warwickshire, so we’re very keen to support events which raise the profile of Coventry as a sporting destination.
“There is a huge appetite for top-quality sport in the region and we have no doubt that this crucial game will be well supported.
“We wish the team the very best a luck against Poland and at the forthcoming IIHF World Championship and we look forward to welcoming the GB squad to our next game at the Ricoh Arena on 26th April against Exeter Chiefs.”
GB manager, Andy Buxton, said: “We always have fantastic support from the Coventry community, along with local businesses and organisations.
“They have a real passion for Great Britain ice hockey and I would like to thank everyone, especially Coventry City Council, Coventry Sports Foundation and Wasps Rugby Club, for their support this year.
“Bringing international ice hockey to Coventry is very special and Poland will be a great opposition.
“We have a fantastic rivalry with them and it will be excellent preparation for the World Championship.”