The Ice Hockey UK Foundation – supported by the donor that is behind a substantial investment into the development programme of the Foundation – is pleased to announce the start of a recruitment process to find a world-class, progressive, inspirational, experienced and knowledgeable development leader.

The Head of Development will be responsible for forming the Foundation’s development strategy, building an appropriate structure capable of delivering the strategy and putting together operational plans for execution of its development programme.

The progression initiatives that will flow from this come from an extensive scoping that several key stakeholders in the sport in the UK have said are needed to help progress our world-class programme.

The aim is to deliver long-term sustained success over the next five to ten years to complement Ice Hockey UK’s own development goals and its GB World-Class Programme in the UK and abroad.

It is intended that this lead to consistent performances and qualification to major championships, including the IIHF World Championships as well as IOC Olympic Winter Games (OWG) and Youth Olympic Games (YOG).

Further to support from private, charitable and commercial sources – and the agreement between IHUK and UK Sport – the Foundation now has the funding, support, opportunity and ambition to create this new development role.

It will work in collaboration with Ice Hockey UK to build development initiatives across key areas of the sport and Ice Hockey UK’s activities, to raise performance standards and for GB to achieve even more international success.

Reporting directly to the Foundation Board of Trustees, and working in partnership with the Foundation Manager and the IHUK Head of Performance, she/he will have responsibility to further develop a high-performance development culture, allowing Ice Hockey UK and the GB World-Class Programme to succeed in their strategic visions.

The Foundation’s development strategy will likely include a GB High Performance Academy to bridge the gap between junior club training and the national team programmes, as well as an Elite Coach Development Programme to up-skill aspiring and existing GB coaches so that these athletes can get world-class support.

The Foundation will also look at establishing an elite national junior competition to sit alongside the existing Home Nation leagues, further support for the three-on-three format, as well as other projects that the Head of Development identifies as key to its development goals.

Clifton Wrottesley, Chair of Ice Hockey UK and interim Chair of the Foundation, said: “The appointment of a Head of Development marks the start of an extremely exciting phase in ice hockey in the UK’s journey.

“We aim to close the gap with our competitors in the leading ice hockey nations globally and in order to do that, we need to up-skill our prospective GB athletes in their youth and junior development phases, as well as provide them with first-rate coaching and competitive game time.

“The Head of Development will be responsible for putting together our development strategy, building a structure that helps deliver that. The end result will be the forming of operational plans to deliver the initiatives.

“The stakeholders involved in scoping this opportunity know who they are. My sincere thanks to them for the work they have done so far in identifying and supporting these key initiatives.

“I genuinely think that this role and the opportunities that flow from bringing in someone who has already proven that they can affect major change in a national development programme will have a transformational effect on the development of the sport of ice hockey in this country.

“My sincere thanks to the donor who has supported us throughout the process. He has recognised the importance of this ambition and I believe his vision will enable the genesis of a new era in the sport in the UK.

“These are maybe lofty claims, but ones that match out ambition and I feel sure will come to fruition.”