Harvey gives her backing to new indoor match initiative
Pegasus, Ulster and Ireland star Michelle Harvey is to play a key role in a new indoor hockey initiative which comes to Ireland next year as the six-a-side version of the game continues to enjoy a revival.
Along with her twin sister Kerry, who plays for Ards, Michelle will be involved in the setting up of an Ulster franchise to compete in the Pro Series Indoor (PSi), which has enjoyed huge success since being set up in South Africa 11 years ago.
After a series of regional matches, girls and boys teams at U-11, 13 and 15 level will take part in the finals weekend in Dublin next June when 200 games will take place over three days.
It's anticipated that the Belfast Bears, as the Ulster franchise will be known, will be joined by six others from around Ireland in the run-up to the event which is coming here on the initiative of UCD Ladies' South African coach Miles Warren.
Ards coach Gareth Grundie heads up the local set-up, which will get under way in the new year, initially to gauge interest.
Harvey is looking forward to her involvement having played indoors when in Belgium for three seasons.
"It's an exciting time for indoor hockey," she said. "We are initially approaching youth players after great success in the equivalent in South Africa and will start with single-day clinics with a range of age groups for boys and girls."
Harvey believes the two versions of the game are complimentary and encouraging youths to get involved in the indoor game will be beneficial in the longer term.
Meanwhile, Harvey is set for a busy weekend at club level as Pegasus face a double-header at the weekend with an EY IHL game against Railway in Dublin on Saturday, followed by an Irish Senior Cup tie with Genesis the following day in Belfast.
Pegasus are just four points off the pace in the Irish Hockey League while Railway are one behind, so another close contest is expected after the teams fought out a scoreless draw earlier in the campaign.
Ards have a tough one away to second placed Cork Harlequins, while Belfast Harlequins take on Loreto at Deramore.
In the Ulster Premier League, leaders Dungannon will be expected to stay at the summit with a win over struggling North Down, while Ballymoney, who trail only on goal difference, host Ulster Elks.