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Thread: Hockey Night in Qatar

  1. #1
    IHF Staff Jazz's Avatar
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    Qatar Hockey Night in Qatar

    Story from the Toronto Star about Hockey in Qatar: http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey...ian_gulf.html#
    Here is a snippet.

    The skating rink in the extravagant Villaggio Mall is a rather unlikely setting for a hockey game. The rink sits in the middle of a food court, and the Islamic call to prayer periodically echoes across the ice, competing with the sound of sticks and skates as fully veiled women follow the action while eating McDonalds and KFC. For Mohammed Al-Amer, the 20-year-old captain of Qatar’s national ice hockey team, it’s the only real rink he’s ever known. It’s the base from which he and his teammates plan to put the country on the international hockey map. “We aren’t different just because we live in the desert,” he says. “We love hockey and we are going to build the game in this country.”

    Started in 2003 by Canadians expats, with help from staff of the Qatari branch of Newfoundland’s College of the North Atlantic, the domestic league has more than 130 members playing on nine teams across three divisions. The national team, the Oryx, plays in the league to learn and improve against a high level of competition.

    Al-Amer first fell in love with hockey when he watched the movie, The Mighty Ducks. Soon after, he taught himself to rollerblade, eventually learning to skate. He started playing hockey after travelling to Abu Dhabi to piece together a full set of equipment from the little that is available in the region. “My father told me, ‘You have to do something that makes you special,’ ” he said. “Well, playing hockey in Doha is pretty special.” Al-Amer is captain of the Qatari national hockey team and was the driving force behind its efforts to expand and improve.

    After practising and developing with guidance and support from volunteer Canadian coaches, the young Qataris’ hard work paid off in May 2012 when the International Ice Hockey Federation granted them official recognition. Al-Amer then approached the Qatar Olympic Committee and asked for sponsorship. “They told us to order whatever equipment we needed and send them the bill,” Al-Amer recalls. Nearly $115,000 later, skids full of hockey equipment started passing through Qatari customs.
    *sigh* if only a number of other nation's National Olympic Committees would be willing to fund their ice hockey teams...
    There is no such thing as a "Bad Hockey Market"
    There are, however, several markets with "Bad Hockey"

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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazz View Post
    Story from the Toronto Star about Hockey in Qatar: http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey...ian_gulf.html#
    Here is a snippet.



    *sigh* if only a number of other nation's National Olympic Committees would be willing to fund their ice hockey teams...
    I think other nation's NOC's can only look on in envy at the beaucoup $$$ at the Qatari's disposal.

  3. #3
    IHF Staff Jazz's Avatar
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    True to an extent. But many NOC's don't see hockey as worth that investment either. Only 1 medal available for all the effort needed.
    There is no such thing as a "Bad Hockey Market"
    There are, however, several markets with "Bad Hockey"

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