The goal is to offer new opportunities to the most talented players in the country at the venue in Villach and to go through a hockey academy that includes schooling as of the age of 14. The centre shall combine high standards of ice hockey, schooling, personality development, career planning and scientific support to improve the development of female ice hockey players.
It is also planned to use the venue for camps and games of the various women’s national teams.
“Villach offers the best conditions for a long-term and sustainable setup of a women’s high-performance centre. The essential advantages of this place are the high value of ice hockey in Carinthia, the central location and the good possibilities for a dual education for the girls,” said Gernot Mittendorfer, President of the Austrian Ice Hockey Association.
“The fact that both the operator of Villach’s Stadthalle as well as the government of the city of Villach are hundred per cent behind the project is decisive for a successful and long-term cooperation. The new federal performance centre will not only offer a professional environment for our girls and their career development but also give positive impulse for ice hockey as a whole.”
“I’m happy as sport responsible and ice hockey fan that we can finalize the important extension of the ice rink infrastructure,” announces Carinthia Governor Peter Kaiser. The state will invest €8.1 million to build a second ice rink at Stadthalle and to renovate the current arena.
If everything goes according to plan, the first class of young women will be able to join the extended venue in summer 2023.
Austria is ranked 14th in the IIHF Women’s World Ranking and aims at qualifying for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games for the first time with a women’s ice hockey team.