Hockey is softer than you think, especially in global development aid
Pavel Barber, a stick handling specialist, helped out Japanese hockey phenom Aito Iguchi in Vancouver improve his skills. Toronto based Graeme Townshend is beating the odds as head of the Jamaican Olympic Ice Hockey Federation in search of “Cool Runnings” on skates: Jamaica is the first Caribbean nation to become an associate member of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). And Leon Draisaitl is already writing history. If Germans were as excited as the Oilers with hockey Made in Germany, we would see better tv deals, youth development and press coverage.
In Japan, Jamaica and Germany, hockey exists on the fringes of the public eye, excitement is lackluster, which makes it even harder for kids like Aito to hit the stars. At least it’s good to know that global development of the world’s fastest team sport is in Canadian hands. If anyone in Montreal is interested in Kenyan hockey, take a look at these pioneers.