The Invicta Dynamos will not feature in competitive action for the remainder of 2020 after Planet Ice, operators of Gillingham’s ice rink, stated that no senior hockey will take place within their facilities until at least January 2021 as a result of the uncertainty caused by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Covid-19 brought the 2019/20 campaign to an abrupt halt in March and continues to impact the game as we approach what would now be the start of the 2020/21 season in September. Given government restrictions on crowds at sporting venues, the necessity of gate receipts for clubs to cover running costs and the inability to place players in a ‘protective bubble’ due to the semi-professional nature of the game, hockey has been unable to restart in the same way as other sports.
With the highly unpredictable nature of Covid-19, significant uncertainty remains regarding when and how many supporters could return to the stands and how games could be held safely for both players and spectators. Alongside these challenges there is also the potential for future local lockdowns, players contracting the virus or sponsorship issues created by what is now a harsher economic climate to majorly impact the 2020/21 season should it start.
Given the described uncertainty Planet Ice, who operate a significant number of the UK’s ice rinks, have therefore made the decision not to commence with senior hockey in any of their rinks until the 1st January 2021 at the earliest. At this time it is not known if the 2020/21 season will be truncated or cancelled entirely however, as a club, we will endeavour to provide clarification as soon that becomes possible.
Inevitably all of us at the Invicta Dynamos are naturally saddened by this latest development but in these unprecedented times we must recognise that the safety of our players, staff, volunteers and supporters is what is most important and we are therefore fully supportive of this decision. Hockey and your Invicta Dynamos will eventually return and, when it does, nothing will be more valuable than having you back with us at our home rink. Until then we will continue to work hard behind the scenes so that when that first puck drop finally arrives we are both ready to challenge on the ice and to welcome our hockey family back to the stands off of it.
Any future updates regarding the 2020/21 campaign will be posted on our website and social media platforms. For now we hope that you stay safe and know that we look forward to welcoming you back as soon as is possible.