Matthew Quinlan (2EN) has been selected as part of the 15-person Irish ‘Saints’ Ice Hockey team to represent Ireland in December at the EMFInternational Tournament Slovakia 2018. Matthew will compete in 6 games over three days against other countries. This selection is made up of players from Cork Wolfpack, Dublin Ducks and Kilkenny Storm Ice Hockey teams.
Matthew started playing inline and ice hockey with Kilkenny Storm in 2013 and has previously travelled with the ‘Saints’ to Boston, Toronto, Barcelona and Coventry. As you can imagine, training in Ireland is difficult without an ice-rink and so Matthew and his team mates have often travelled to Belfast for training. Thankfully, when the ‘pop-up’ ice rinks arrive across the country, training and games can take place on these, normally at 7am!
Cumann Haca Oighir na hEireann, or the Irish Ice Hockey Association (IIHA) was founded in 1996 and is a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation, Olympic Council of Ireland and Sport Ireland. In 2014, the IIHA decided to invest in a youth programme, the Irish ‘Saints’ which resulted in an exponential growth in skill levels within a very short timeframe. Some players have spent their transition year abroad in Poland and Canada playing hockey and attending school. Hopefully, Ireland will have an ice hockey team compete in the Winter Olympics in the future!