On March the IIHF received a visit given by a delegation of ice hockey and sports representatives from Nepal, who formally submitted a proposal to hitch the IIHF being an associate member.
“With the support of the govt and also the IIHF, We‘re seeking to build a brand new chapter in Nepalese sports with ice hockey” said Nepal Ice Hockey Association President Lok Bahadur Shahi.
Situated almost entirely inside the Himalaya mountain range and containing eight in the world’s ten tallest peaks, including Mount Everest, Nepal’s climate that varies greatly depending on altitude. The nation as of now has no artificial ice rinks, but plans to construct many are inside the works.
The push from the Nepalese to hitch the IIHF comes at any given time once the sport is seeing a rise in popularity inside the country. Traditionally a football and cricketing nation, Nepal now has as much as 157 active sports associations and it’s dealing with the International Olympic Committee in developing Nepalese sports.
“Ice hockey is growing in popularity, thanks partially towards the Internet, ” said Hari Prasad Sarmah, advisor towards the Nepal Ice Hockey Association. “We aspire to build out first rink in Kathmandu by 50 percent to 3 years and take benefit of this. ”
Horse Betting – While confined in the event to natural ice rinks which are useable for 6 months from the year, the Nepal Ice Hockey Association is aiming to tap straight into the large populations located inside the country’s urban centres to locate and develop players. Cities such as the capital Kathmandu and Pokhara were put forth as ideal locations for building an ice rink and raising awareness for the game.
“They started contacting me in the center of 2014,” said IIHF Vice-President for Asia Thomas Wu. “The development of the sport, especially in the beginning, needs a lots of support from the govt, so we see lots of that in several elements of Asia.”
“We are fully confident, inside a make a difference of two to 3 years, Nepal may also be fully equipped to hitch the ice hockey fraternity and begin participating in regional and international tournaments and friendly matches, ” said Keshab Kumar Bista, Member-Secretary from the Nepal National Sports Council.
Wu was encouraged from the strong bid posted by Nepal, and sees some potential for the game to grow and develop inside a country of over 27 million people.
“I draw some parallels with the program with that of Mongolia, where it’s cold enough where players can play outdoors. The Mongolian players are very competitive, even using the limited ice time they receive throughout the short season. ”
With Indonesia and also the Philippines and slated to obtain associate member status pending approval in the 2016 IIHF Congress, the IIHF will certainly be adding three Asian nations to its membership, having a combined population of over 400 million.
“Asia is a crucial part in your development plans, so we welcome these new members, ” said IIHF President René Fasel.
“It’s exciting, we wish to see more players and much more development, but it’s a very good starting point and it’s great to discover such growth, ” said Wu.