The Board of the Leinster Hockey Association (LHA) have accepted an invitation from the Irish Hockey Association (IHA) to make submissions and to meet on the future of the South East representative teams.
The current three year agreement, which followed the merger of Leinster Ladies, Leinster Men and South East will terminate at the end of the current season.
It comes following the launch of the “Save South East Hockey” campaign on Facebook. The stated aim of the campaign is to ensure the permanent retention of South East’s U-16 and U-18 interprovincial teams citing the number of top level players that began their careers in the region and the importance of keeping a strong hockey presence in the area.
In recent years, the province has spawned some of Ireland’s most decorated players including 151-time international Linda Caulfield as well as current centurion Lisa Jacob as well as goalkeeper Louisa Healy and Aine Connery.
Underage international Aisling Cronin also developed through the province system to line out in the Under-18 Europeans last summer and it is the pathway to develop such talent that the South East is hoping to preserve.
As part of the LHA’s statement on the matter, they state that “part of the LHA Strategic Plan is to develop and expand Hockey throughout the province of Leinster and strengthening the sport in the South East region is pivotal to achieve this.
“The LHA welcome the messages of support from Clubs, Schools, Players, Parents and supporters with emails, testimonials and social media campaigns reflecting the history and regard for the South East and seeking to ensure that Hockey is played and supported in the region.
“The LHA will endeavour to best represent the views expressed and are confident of a successful outcome.”
All aspects of representative hockey are also being reviewed with the IHA and the other Provinces to assist with the development of the sport and players.