Oxford City Stars can confirm it has opted out of a potential NIHL Division One South 20/21 short season.
The club have notified the English Ice Hockey Association of the decision and now look ahead to returning for the 21/22 season from September.
The NIHL is currently seeking a ‘Return to Play’ via a ‘Winter Survival Package’ of financial support via Sport England. Clubs were encouraged to apply for financial support and to take part in a reduced season to conclude by May.
A statement on behalf of the club's Board members Greig Box Turnbull and Jo Mundy, said: “We considered this carefully and concluded protecting the welfare, health and safety of everyone at the club is
“We understand our supporters will be disappointed but are sure they will understand it was a decision made for the right reasons.
“In our view it is currently not safe or practical to compete in a short season in the short-term. On this basis we felt it would have been inappropriate to apply for funding and we have informed the league of our decision.
“We have thanked the league for its efforts to maintain British ice hockey and we wish all clubs who seek to take part in the short season all the best.
“After months of uncertainty this means we can now focus our attention on preparing for the 21/22 season. We hope with the continued roll out of the vaccine that the public health situation will be more positive later in the year.
“We look forward to when we can return and can all watch and enjoy ice hockey properly together again.”