Hockey Belgium announced they started to build a center of excellence for national hockey teams at the Wilrijkse Plein sports center in Antwerp. The building will be completed in May 2021 and will become the base of operations for the Red Panthers and Red Lions in their preparations for major hockey tournaments.
This top-notch training facility is set to become the new “home” of the Red Lions and Red Panthers. The two teams will have premises on four floors that meet all their needs. Each team will have its own private locker room with ice baths and its own “war room” in which they can refine the team’s tactics and perform game analysis or individual actions. The center will also have a high-level indoor and outdoor fitness, physiotherapy rooms, a relaxation lounge for players, a dining room, a large meeting room and an area for rest or study.
Besides the National ladies and gentlemen, this building will host the other National age teams for their training and courses, as well as the offices of the High Performance staff of the ARBH.
The project, which was launched by VHL in 2018, is the result of a partnership with the Flemish Region and the city of Antwerp, as this ambitious project is worth around 3 million euros.
The Antwerp architectural firm POLO Architects has designed a building that fully meets the needs and ambitions of the teams. The choice fell on a simple, compact and bright pavilion made of durable CLT wood, with an adjacent south-facing patio garden. The building is built in compliance with ecological standards and solar panels will be placed on the roof.
“This is a very important step for hockey in Belgium. We are proud to have been able to carry out this exceptional project, which will finally offer a real “home” to our National teams. This center of excellence will undoubtedly be a huge asset for the development of hockey in our country”said Christoph Van Dessel, General Manager of the VHL and responsible for the project.
“Our national teams will have a fantastic training center, in one place, they will have all the facilities they need to stay at the top of the world. The different spaces have been designed in consultation with the athletes, in order to meet all their needs, both in terms of sport and comfort”confirms Adam Commens, High Performance Director of ARBH.