Dundee’s biggest hockey club saved from financial ruin by Tayside firm

Posted on February 16, 2018

A Dundee hockey club facing financial ruin has been handed a lifeline by a Tayside construction firm.

Dundee Wanderers is the biggest hockey club in the city, having been established in 1934.

The club’s financial difficulties stem from being selected as the host for this month’s Euro Hockey Indoor Club Champions Cup — the top women’s club competition in Europe.

With the costs of staging the event approaching £20,000, the future of the club was in doubt.

The Wanderers faced a £8,092 cost for hire of Dundee International Sports Centre (DISC).

Hotel accommodation for officials was another £4,800 with other costs including  flights for officials.

Following a desperate appeal for help through the pages of The Courier, the club secured sponsorship deals and support from Midland Hockey Union and SportDundee to the tune of £3,500.

Last month they received word that this sum would be matched by Dundee Leisure and Culture, effectively reducing the cost of hiring DISC to £4,592.

However, even with club fundraising and local businesses supporting the event through the sale of adverts in the programme, the club faced a financial black hole.

That’s when civil engineer contractor Kilmac came forward with a £4,000 donation – and a further £2,000 from the firm’s suppliers – which has ensured the tournament’s costs will be covered.

Tournament organiser Marlyn Gibson said: “We were past the deadline for making any decision about withdrawing from hosting the tournament.

“The penalties for withdrawing after the deadline were massive both financially and in being relegated to the bottom league.

“It did mean that the club was possibly looking at not being able to meet any of the bills for the hotels and flights.

“It was an extremely worrying period for all involved with the very real possibility of the cub being financially ruined and unable to continue to operate.

“We are so grateful for Kilmac stepping in to retain the good name of the club, the city of Dundee and indeed Scotland as a whole.”

The top eight European women’s teams will take part in the competition, which will be held from February 23 to 25.

Teams and officials involved will travel to Dundee from Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Belarus, Austria, Ukraine and Switzerland.

Marlyn added: “It will be an unbelievable experience for these players to be playing at such a high level of competition at their tender years in front of friends, family and a home crowd supporting their every move.”

Richard Kilcullen, the managing director of Kilmac, said the firm was delighted to help.

He said: “To lose such a prestigious event in Dundee would have been terrible, not only for the players who are taking part, but also for Dundee as a whole with hotels, restaurants and shops benefitting from the footfall.”

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