Earlier in the 2000s, Ice Hockey became a popular sport in India. In a few years, it gained lots of popularity across the country and played in many colder regions like Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, and Himachal Pradesh. These places are known as perfect places to play and train.
In the past few years, Jammu & Kashmir, and Ladakh have become new hotspots. Many foreigners come to Ladakh to get some experience on the highest rinks in the world. Doon Ice Rink has an international-sized rink in Dehradun.
The beginning of Ice Hockey in India
India has The Ice Hockey Association of India (IHAI) which is a national governing body of ice hockey. India has both men and women ice hockey teams. Since 2009, the men’s ice hockey team has been competing in international tournaments and matches. Adam Sherlip is a Head Coach of the team and successfully put the team in various competitions. He took the team to the IIHF Challenge Cup of Asia in 2012 hosted at the Doon Ice Rink and also in an Abu Dhabi tournament, UAE.
In 2017, the Indian men’s ice hockey team got second place in the IIHF Challenge Cup of Asia Division 1 in Kuwait. On the other hand, In 2019, the Indian women’s ice hockey team won a bronze medal in Division 1. Since the last decade, India has proved itself very well in this game. In today’s time, India has more than ten hockey clubs affiliated with the IHAI.
Struggles and Obstacles
In India, Ice Hockey has gained few Ice hockey in India has already grabbed a few momentous achievements and still getting more popularity. Like other sports, it also has many obstacles. From 1999, IHAI has been a part of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF); but still, the women’s team has to wait till 2016 to go to the international but men’s already stepped in the international tournaments in earlier 2009. Women fought a long battle in ice hockey as women were engaged in the game from 2008, but the Ice Hockey Association of India organized their first women’s national championship in 2013. But the war didn’t end here, in 2016 IIHF Challenge Cup of Asia arranged the training at Iskate, a miniature ice rink located in Gurgaon. When the area was compared with the international level arena then it was only 1/4th of it. The players only trained on their basic skills. Not only this, some of the players didn’t make it to the Taipeti trip because they don’t have a passport.