Great Britain Under-16s Women will link up with England National Team Programme (ENTP) to form a UK Women’s development programme for players born in 2003 to 2009.
There is currently the GB U16 programme leading into the U18 and women’s team and alongside that the England programme had U14 and U17 girls programmes.
Moving forward, the female player pathway will run from UK Women’s Development with JLMC, IHUK and This Girl Can through to England U13 Girls, England U16 Girls and on to Great Britain U16 Women, Great Britain U18 Women and Great Britain Women.
Combining the female ENTP and Great Britain U16 women’s programme under the banner of UK Women’s Development will gain better engagement and sharing of resources.
Eligible players would be all EIHA and SIH-registered players holding a British passport born from 2003 to 2009.
Great Britain Women’s head coach, Cheryl Smith, said: “I am delighted that the women’s programmes are coming together.
“This is fantastic for the future of women’s ice hockey in the UK and the pathway is more joined up than ever now.
“I would like to thank Geoff Hemmerman and the EIHA for working with us and making this happen.
“These are exciting times for women’s ice hockey and we can look to the future with so much optimism.”
Geoff Hemmerman, IHUK director and EIHA director responsible for England programmes, said: “Everyone who knows me knows that development of the Great Britain Women’s programme is very close to my heart and I truly know we can progress our Great Britain teams on the international stage. To do this we have to have a different way of working.
“Collaborating with one common goal, some will see what follows as groundbreaking, it’s not, its applying common sense and having the will to share resources.
“We need to remove confusion from the female player pathway, we need to give as many females as possible the opportunity to develop to the highest standard. Not all will make Great Britain, but all will improve as players and people.
“Every player will have the opportunity to develop at the right pace to suit not only their ability but also their potential.
“Over the last six months I have held a number of very constructive meetings with Cheryl Smith, Great Britain Women’s head coach. It’s clear from those meetings that we both have the same aims and objectives.
“We both know that what is laid out will have a huge positive impact on the development of our youngest female players to include fitness, nutrition, strength and conditioning, on ice and off-ice development, injury management, discipline, playing rules and every other aspect of the game along with a number of parent education sessions.”
To begin the new female player pathway there will be an initial development camp for under-13 and under-16 girls. This will be a two-day camp charged at ENTP rates.
Players will be invited from the current combined list of players within the Great Britain U16 Women Development squad and England squad lists to a two-day squad selection camp. Athird group will be included that will be identified as ‘This Girl Can’.
Open to ages between birth year 2003 and 2009, the cost of participation in the two-day camp will be £200 per player. The end goal will be to select 46 players from each age group, consisting of six netminders, 16 defence and 24 forwards at each age group. These players will then form the UK Women’s Development Programme.
Any players not selected to these teams will be given the opportunity to join the ‘This Girl Can’ group, so her development and progress can be monitored.
Players will be moved around different groups as is deemed necessary by the team coaches to ensure the players are being developed at a pace and level that is right for them.
To develop continuity, the ENTP will provide team staff for the This Girl Can group and Under-13 Girls. The Under-16 Girls will be a combination of current Great Britain Women staff, ENTP Staff and JLMC development staff.
The Great Britain Women’s staff will select the most suitable under-16 players to participate in any IHUK or IIHF organised event, be it Youth Olympic Games, World Girls Global Game, 4 Nations Events and participate as Great Britain.
The proposed camp programme for this season will be:
August 2018 two-day camp – cost £200
October 2018 one-day camp – £100
December 2018 one-day camp – £100
February 2019 one-day camp – £100
From this combined programme ENTP will select 20 players at Under-13 Girls and 20 players at Under-16 Girls to participate in a European trip in April 2019.
To sign up and register your interest must be done through the ENTP TeamApp – go to www.eiha.teamapp.com and sign up and pick the relevant age group to be part of. Once registered all communications, documents etc will be distributed through TeamApp.