ONE of Edinburgh’s top hockey clubs is stepping up its fundraising schedule after winning a bid to host a prestige indoor tournament early next year.
Eight of Europe’s top sides will converge on the Capital from February 17-19 to contest the European Indoor Championship, B Division.
Inverleith Hockey Club are the hosts and the venue will be Napier Unviersity’s new facility at Sighthill.
John Bell, chairman of the tournament organising committee, spoke for the first time about the club’s pride in being given the nod.
And he revealed that France, Belgium and Ukraine had also shown interest in hosting the event.
Bell, who coaches the women’s first team at Inverleith, said: “This is the biggest thing the club has ever done. We’ve organised a special committee to deal with this and work at raising funds is already under way.”
Inverleith won the Scottish Indoor Division One title last winter and Mr Bell said: “It’s a massive undertaking for us.
“We would have had to raise funds to send the guys abroad, now we’ll have to raise a little more having been granted hosting rights.
“We have to bring more than 100 athletes to the city plus officials to assist in running the event. We’ve a playing carpet to arrange, tiered seating for around 300 people and a host of other things, including accommodation and transport and catering.”
Competing clubs are Polish champions WKS Grunwald from Poznan, French cracks Lille, HC Kolos-Sekvoia from Ukraine, HC 1972 Rakovnik from the Czech Republic, Slagelse UC from Denmark, Ad Lousada from Portugal and Belgian kingpins Royal Racing Club de Bruxelles.