Another historical moment for Indians as Indian Ice Hockey team finished second position at the 2017 IIHF Challenge Cup. India beat Oman and Macau to claim second position and can be said as one of the India’s best performance in recent years.
Not being a main stream game in India, Ice Hockey Team suffered lack of financial support as many other sports too. But the success in this tournament has clearly showed that definitely that “Passion is way over the Paisa”.
The history created on the day, when India begged a win over Oman by 3-2 and remarked that they won’t be heading the tournament as underdogs. It was not just a win but a most awaited one. A long wait for 5 years ended to taste a victory in any international fixture. Before this success they had won only one game in 33 international contests.
The team went down fighting against top quality Kuwait to 5-8 but the spirited performance was enough to won hearts of many. Triumph over Macau on the ending day of the Championship assisted Indian team to sit on the 2nd position on the table.
Very proudly sharing this picture, though Ice Hockey is not popular in India, but big shout out needed for the team, It’s India’s victory. pic.twitter.com/OgO80bBq2K
— Bhaiyyaji (@bhaiyyajispeaks) April 26, 2017
“No government funding, no infrastructure, no mass media. Indian Ice Hockey Team rides on the sheer will of 22 young Indian players from the Himalayan region of India. They invest their own money, their parents savings, the support of their well wishers, meagre sponsorships to proudly wear the Indian jersey in international arenas,” Before leaving for Kuwait, Harjinder Singh, General Secretary, Ice Hockey Association of India, had appealed on the association’s website for sponsors.
— Bhaiyyaji (@bhaiyyajispeaks) April 25, 2017
“Participation is essential for the growth of the Sport. Few wins and we hope Government and Indian Sports enthusiasts will be taking note of this sport. Ice Hockey being the fastest contact team sport, this Winter Olympic Sport will soon become popular in India. What this sport needs is the attention of investors and it would be as popular in India, as NHL is in North America,” he added.
He explained, “Ice Hockey is an expensive sport. The Ice Hockey Association has accumulated an expense of around 26 Lakhs INR for training in Kyrgyzstan. The team has already spent most of their personal funds on training well. Now, with just a week before the Kuwait tournament, they are falling short of 12 lakhs INR to participate in the tournament. They need this fund to pay for their travel tickets, visa, equipment and coach.”