TheHockey Club Lugano (HCL) was surprised to learn this morning, from media reports, of the Hockey Club Ladies Lugano's decision to forfeit the team's participation in the top Swiss women's ice hockey league for the future. In the past few months and weeks, the HCL had never received any kind of warning signs from the Hockey Club Ladies Lugano that would hint at the scenario of the team's withdrawal from the league.
Thanks in large part to Vicky Mantegazza's personal commitment, the HCL has pioneered the development and growth of women's field hockey in Lugano, Ticino, and the whole of Switzerland for nearly two decades. Under Vicky's leadership, the HCL team has won countless national titles and achieved prestigious international milestones, including hosting the final round of the Women European Champions Cup in 2011.
Starting with the 2018/19 season, the sports, administrative and financial management of the women's ice hockey team in Lugano was then taken over by a club independent and autonomous from the HCL organization.
As part of its Youth Section, the HCL has trained, trains and will continue to train several girls and young women who are passionate about ice hockey.
However, the unfortunately still small number of female players (as of today, 17 players between the ages of 5 and 17 in the entire organization) and the long-standing problem of the lack of ice hockey infrastructure in the Lugano area makes it very difficult to manage a team composed of Ticino girls without significant and costly input from the rest of Switzerland or abroad.
For these reasons, the HCL is of the opinion that the Ticino Ice Hockey Federation (FTHG) should champion a cantonal project for a single team so as to involve and empower all active clubs in Ticino in the training of female players and create a single platform for elite women's field hockey in our canton.
The HCL has already made such a move toward the FTHG and is certainly willing to discuss the future development of such a project.