Three young UK officials – Dave Good, Philippa Wheeler and Hollie Neenan – have been selected to officiate at the Youth Olympic Games in January in Switzerland.
The Youth Olympics take place in Lausanne on the shores of Lake Geneva from 9th to 22nd January 2020.
The selections come on the back of 17 officials being assigned IIHF tournaments in the 2019-20 season.
Good, who attended the USA Hockey District Futures Camp last summer, has been selected as a referee for the male tournament.
Ice Hockey UK referee-in-chief, Joy Johnston, said: “We are delighted that the IIHF see in him what we see and that our programme has supported Dave to get selected for this opportunity.”
Wheeler has been named as a linesman for the female tournament. Last season, she went to the Sweden U16 female tournament and got positive feedback there about starting her IIHF journey.
Neenan is IHUK Referee Section’s youngest IIHF licensed female official and will have just turned 18 years old when she flies over to Switzerland.
She went to USA Hockey women’s futures camp in the summer of 2019 and the feedback from the USA Officiating Programme was that she will have a bright future in the sport as a leading female official.
Wheeler and Neenan’s officiating manager is Dave Cloutman and he said: “Both Hollie and Philippa are a credit to our programme and we know they are more than capable of working at this level internationally.
“We are now starting to see young officials come through our system who are really good and this is what we set out to achieve several years ago.
“Developing quality officials takes time and we are now starting to see that our programme and the efforts of the last few years are paying off.”
Joy Johnston added: “To have 20 officials assigned at this level is unprecedented for Great Britain officials.
“It is further endorsement from the IIHF that our development programme is working. Five years ago we would not have been in a place to have young officials ready for IIHF opportunities.
“We are now pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved by the UK on the international scene for officiating and this is a really exciting time for the UK officiating programme and every official who is part of #teamstripes.
“Anyone thinking about becoming an official, now is the time, as the programme is really starting to gain momentum and is clearly a trusted programme in the eyes of the IIHF.”
For more details about the IHUK Referee Programme, click here.