National UK Winter Classic tournament to take place in Great Yarmouth
PUBLISHED: 08:00 04 December 2015
A national ice hockey tournament is set to draw hundreds of spectators to the real ice rink, in Great Yarmouth's town centre, next weekend.
The rink in the Market Square is to host the UK Winter Classic on December 13, which will involve more than 40 amateur competitors from across the UK.
The UK Winter Classic, now in its second year, is the only outdoor ice hockey tournament in the country, taking taken place last year in Nottingham, Cambridge and Vauxhall, London.
Chris Kibui and Chris Curtiss, of Hockey Tutorial, decided to organise the tournament in Great Yarmouth after completing a successful trial match on the rink with five other players on Saturday.
The competition will see eight teams of three to six players compete in knockout rounds, culminating in semi-finals and the final.
Each team will play at least four 15-minute games. After the tournament, the rink will re-open for public sessions.
Mr Kibui said: “The UK Winter Classic is the first outdoor ice hockey tournament that’s ever been organised in the UK and supports the aim of Hockey Tutorial to raise the profile of UK hockey and increase participation.
“We are proud of the fact we’ve been able to host this event and are grateful to Great Yarmouth Borough Council for the chance to play on the fantastic rink in Great Yarmouth town centre, which we have tried out already and is ideal.
“It’s something really special, with players and spectators coming from all over, including from London, Nottingham, Bournemouth and even Blackpool, plus a few from Norwich.
“The players are incredibly excited about having the opportunity to play outside, which is a new experience for some of them. Playing on a small, unmarked rink is also a different experience, which takes the sport back to its roots.”