February 17th, 2017
Image: Batul Kapasi
While you’re reading this and waiting for the upcoming India-Australia test series, the national women’s Ice Hockey team has been doggedly fighting the odds to go to Thailand next month.
Firstly, how many of us even know that we have an ice hockey team? Even though this sport has a relatively small following, it is played enthusiastically in a corner located in the Himalayan mountain range. Skating on a frozen pond in Gupuks, Leh, in the middle of Himalayas, and the mountain range glowing behind, you will find an all women team who found their passion in this unconventional sport. These women out there have proved they love this sport too much to give up. For them, ice hockey is what gully cricket is for the rest of the country.
Earlier they used to play for the love of the game with no rewards to show but now there is something more.
Last year, these women went on to participate for the first time in an international competition in Chinese Taipei. Even though the team returned from the 2016 IIHF Challenge Cup of Asia without a win, there were many positives. This relatively young Indian team were impressive in the group stages and Noor Jahan was even awarded the tournament’s Best Goaltender Award.
After missing out on the Asian Winter Games, this group of women again want to participate in the 2017 Challenge Cup of Asia scheduled to be held next month in Thailand. The team need to raise money by crowdfunding to make their dreams come true. The funds generated will be used for training in Kyrgyzstan followed by the visas, flight tickets, accommodation, and food in Thailand.
With their future at stake, the Ice Hockey Association of India has been trying to build an ice hockey culture amongst the next generation. More importantly, to get recognition to build the winter sports future in our country, to create more sporting opportunities for their gender, break stereotypes and to build more platforms for unconventional sports.
Here is your chance to make the difference that you always wanted to; to contribute in your small way to a country’s progress in the field of ice hockey; to give a chance to the talent that deserves every opportunity to be showcased and every recognition that they deserve. Their victory will be your victory and in their pride will lie your happiness. We, therefore request you to contribute generously in whatever way you can to uplift this team which is short of funds at this moment.
Every penny counts. Just a little help from everyone and they’ll be through.
Here’s how you can contribute to this campaign: Ketto
Sponsor the players, be their hero. Make their dream your dream. Believe in their passion. We need your support to reach the goal. Together, let’s make #IceHockeyPossible.