Northern Ireland has started talks about forming a hockey team to compete at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
The country does not currently compete in hockey at the Commonwealth Games because Ireland play on a cross-border basis meaning a single team represents the island and it is governed by a single federation responsible for both Ireland and Northern Ireland.
But there is growing enthusiasm for Northern Ireland to to be represented in the sport when the Games are held in Birmingham.
The Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games Council (NICG) have held talks with Ulster Hockey and Hockey Ireland.
"The notion of sending two Northern Ireland hockey teams to the Games is still on the agenda and, at present, we are working hard to help build the Ulster Hockey brand," Ulster Hockey chair Billy Pollock told the Belfast Telegraph.
"Although there are logistical issues, competing in the Commonwealth Games would significantly raise the profile of the sport here."
Northern Ireland does not have a world ranking and there may need to be special dispensation from the International Hockey Federation (FIH) and the Commonwealth Games Federation for them to be allowed to play at Birmingham 2022.
The united Ireland team are currently enjoying the best period in their history with the women winning the silver medals at the FIH World Cup in London last year and the men qualifying for their tournament in Bhubaneswar in India for the first time in 28 years.
Both squads contained several players from Northern Ireland.
The NICG have pledged to support the bid.
"The previous discussions around the Gold Coast Games in 2018 were too little, too late but there may be a possibility for Birmingham 2022 as we're at the beginning of the four-year cycle," Conal Heatley, the business and operations manager of NICG, told the Belfast Telegraph.
"In the case of hockey competing, this may be complicated due to the all-Ireland nature of existing squads.
"Additional coaching resources, training schedules, finance etc would have to be identified while operating within the wider system.
"Hockey Ireland would then need to engage with the FIH while we would work with the Commonwealth Games Federation.
"All parties would need to agree a process whereby a Northern Ireland team could participate in the qualification system which is currently based upon world rankings.
"Obviously, Northern Ireland does not have a world ranking so some 'virtual' system would be required.
"There are many 'ifs' and 'buts', but the NICGC continues to support all our member sports to take part in the Games."