An Indian women’s ice hockey team exists, and they are fighting for survival - Care to help?

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An Indian women’s ice hockey team exists, and they are fighting for survival - Care to help?

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SportsCafe Desk

02/21/2017

Did you know that India has a women’s ice hockey team, and despite lack of funds, a proper kink, or training equipment, they are taking on the world with nothing but passion for the game. The Ice Hockey Association of India is now appealing to the people to help them out through crowd funding.

We may not be aware that Ice Hockey is played in India as this sport might not be a subject of many dinner table conversations. But, in a corner of the Himalayan mountain range, there are a group of girls devoted to the 'other' hockey played on ice.

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 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, the team went on to participate for the first time in an international competition in Chinese Taipei. Even though they returned from the 2016 IIHF Challenge Cup of Asia without a win, there were many positives. This relatively young Indian team came close to beating Malaysia in the group stages, and Noor Jahan was even awarded the tournament’s Best Goaltender Award after saving 193 shots from a possible 229.

But, this achievement has not been easy. Without funds, a proper rink, or training equipment, they have battled many hardships.

Last year, the girls prepared an ice rink on their own. They would fill buckets, and prepare the frozen pool from 8 PM to 3 AM in groups of four. Even a small amount of water that splashed on their clothes would freeze. While even thinking of being out at this time in the Himalayas would normally give us the chills, these girls were determined not to let any obstacles thaw their grit and ambitions.

Another problem has been the lack of funding, which has affected their growth. To receive funding from the government, the sport needs 75% affiliate member states, which is difficult at the moment. There is an artificial rink in Dehradun, but with no caretaker or money to maintain it, it lies neglected.

The Indian ice hockey federation has now turned towards the people of this nation for help. Here is your chance to make the difference that you always wanted to; to contribute in your small way to our 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.

Contribute generously in whatever way you can to uplift this team which is short of funds at this moment. The money generated through this crowdfunding will be used for providing the Indian National Ice Hockey team with training, accommodation, air fare, visa, insurance, team jerseys, and equipment.

Click here to donate to the cause.

Article courtesy: Ketto.org.

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