EFFORTS are being made to revive senior ice hockey in Moray.
After an absence of more than two years, a team is being formed to play in the Scottish National League.
The Moray Tornadoes competed in the SNL for a number of years before dwindling numbers and other off-ice issues saw the team fold.
However, a new committee is back with renewed vigour and the nucleus of a decent squad.
At one stage the ice rink at Moray Leisure Centre was home to a thriving youth set-up, adult recreational team and the senior SNL side.
While the juniors still train locally, they now play out of Inverness, leaving the Moray Dolphins recreational side as the only team playing out of the rink.
Graham Morrison, a member of the Dolphins, is treasurer of the revived SNL set-up which has yet to have a name.
That is where the local community comes in and to boost interest in the sport the club wants the public to suggest names for the new team. The person who suggests the winning name will receive free entry to the first SNL home game.
It is hoped three-figure crowds can be attracted back to the rink to watch one of the fastest moving and most skilful sports in the country.
“Moray Leisure Centre is a lovely facility for ice hockey and this could be a good thing for Moray,” said Morrison.
The SNL is seen as the third tier of ice hockey in the UK below the professional British Elite League and English Premier League.
There are teams from Dundee, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Paisley, Ayr, Kilmarnock and Belfast, Kirkcaldy and Dumfries.
Edinburgh Capitals and Belfast Giants, who play in the Elite League, both have feeder teams in the SNL. “We are looking for players to join the team and volunteers with specialist knowledge in funding, structure of volunteer groups or running a sports club to help with the team,” said Morrison.
They are also searching for local business sponsorship as it will be costly to run an SNL side, particularly with away games all over the country.
“We are keen to provide this club to the people of Moray and beyond and also provide affordable access to ice hockey for all and to support our local Moray Leisure Centre,” added Morrison.
The centre, which opened in 1993, needs to find around £750,000 to replace the plant equipment at the ice rink.
Fraser Munro (28) is the SNL team captain and has been skating for almost 20 years, having come through the ranks with the youth set-up in Elgin.
“We are hoping the club can come back stronger than ever before,” he said.
Since the Tornadoes folded, Munro has been playing for the past two years with the Aberdeen Lynx club.
The season starts in September and to kick-start the new club a 10-week training block will take to the ice from next Wednesday, March 27, at Moray Leisure Centre from 7.30pm.
Additional training is also available on a Sunday from 4.30-6pm.
Any one who wants to sign up as a team player or backroom staff, should e mail email@example.com