The French Hockey Federation continues to ramp up its profile ahead of Paris 2024 following the news that Dunkirk and Calais will host EuroHockey 2023 qualifiers next year.
A 30-minute drive separates the two clubs but both organisers will work together ahead of next summer’s competitions.
“This suggestion quickly became obvious,” said André Hecquet, Calais HC president. “We are not competitors. We work for the development of hockey, each in our territory.”
In Dunkirk, the women’s competition will see France, the world No 25, play against Scotland, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary and Slovenia.
“With the municipality and the urban community of Dunkirk, we immediately seized the opportunity to highlight the strengths of our city and the quality of our sports facilities,” said Bertrand Schoumacher, president of the Hockey Club Dunkirk Malo.
The pitch is 300 metres from the beach, with a clubhouse and six changing rooms, as well as a synthetic warm-up area.
“The choice to host a women’s tournament fits perfectly with the development project of the feminisation of our club, still too masculine to this day. We wish, on this occasion, to highlight all the strengths of female hockey,” added Schoumacher.
In Calais, France men will be pitted against Ireland, Ukraine, Turkey, Lithuania and Slovenia.
France men have already qualified for the 2023 men’s World Cup following their second place finish in the recent Cardiff event.