The English Ice Hockey Association and the Women’s National Ice Hockey League (WNIHL) have announced that Ice Hockey UK General Secretary Andy French will join the WNIHL programme as IHUK Partnership Lead.

French recently completed the delivery alongside the IHUK events team of the Women’s Olympic Qualifying tournament in Nottingham with just five weeks’ lead time.

His experience and knowledge of women’s hockey in the UK and worldwide can only benefit the WNIHL programme as it continues to come back from the enforced pause last March.

French said: “We managed to create an incredible showcase for the women’s programme and Great Britain team in Nottingham earlier this month and put it on a platform for the whole of the UK to see, as well as 50,000 viewers on TV and the Olympic channel across the world.

“This has now given us some solid foundations on which to build a world-class women’s hockey programme in the UK with so much more to come. I am really pleased to have this opportunity to support the WNIHL and our outstanding female athletes.”

For the EIHA, director and WNIHL lead, Faye Andrews, said: “From pretty much a standing start, the EIHA women’s programme has come such a long way in a short time.

“I’m delighted Andy has accepted our invitation to work alongside the WNIHL Programme Team and help us build on a fantastic event in Nottingham where women’s hockey was well and truly front and centre.

“We have made huge strides already with more women registered now than during the last pre-covid season. We have the Programme Team already working hard with clubs abd we have our Development Cup in partnership with Rec Section.

“It’s an extremely exciting time for women’s hockey in the UK and with the WNIHL – and I’m confident we have the people involved committed to making things happen.”