Royal Enfield has announced their partnership with the Indian women’s Ice Hockey team in an effort to strengthen their Olympic ambitions.
The partnership is an extension of the relationship of Royal Enfield with UT Ladakh in order to develop winter sports in the region. To celebrate this partnership, Royal Enfield alongwith the Ice Hockey Association of India unveiled the new jersey for Team India.
The Indian women’s Ice Hockey team is scheduled to depart for Thailand on 11th April to participate in the 2023 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s Asia and Oceania Championship from 30th April to 7th May 2023.
The company is supporting the training of the 20-member Indian Ice Hockey squad, including 5 debutants, which will be coached by Canadian Darrin Harrold with Tsewang Gyaltson and Amit Belwal assisting him. Tsewang Chuskit will captain the squad with the accomplished Dr. Noor Jahan, a conservationist by training, in charge of the goal.
The unveiling of the team jersey was followed by a panel discussion on the growth of Ice Hockey across the Himalayas, the development of winter sports and winter tourism. The 20 players of the Indian national team, hailing from Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh, had the opportunity to connect and converse with key members of the Indian sporting ecosystem over the course of the evening.
Royal Enfield is currently working with all stakeholders to grow Ice Hockey, winter sport and winter tourism across the Himalayas. The objective is to build an eco-system for Ice Hockey that will eventually enable Indian players to compete at the highest levels of the sport, including the Winter Olympics.
“The Himalayas is our spiritual home and our partnership with the Indian Women’s Ice Hockey team, is part of our social ambition to work together with 100 Himalayan communities to build resilience and support their ecosystem. Royal Enfield has been commissioned by UT Ladakh to develop a blueprint for Ice Hockey, towards achieving the ambition of Team India competing in the Winter Olympics. Alongside, we have been supporting the training of coaches and players, both at the grassroots level as well as at advanced levels and with necessary equipment and infrastructure. Tonight, we are proud to host these incredible women and wish them all the best as they head off to the icy battles that lie ahead of them in the Championship,” said Bidisha Dey, Executive Director, Eicher Group Foundation, the CSR arm of Royal Enfield.
The 18 women from the Union Territory of Ladakh and 2 from the state of Himachal Pradesh are at the spearhead of a sport that has grown in popularity over the past decade in these mountainous regions. Owing to the natural formation of ice through the winter months, the sport of Ice Hockey has steadily gained popularity and is passionately played, not only as winter entertainment but also as a serious sport.
“It’s truly a proud moment for all of us at the Ice Hockey Association of India as our girls prepare to compete at yet another major global championship. Our goal is to ensure that more people across the country see ice hockey as the serious competitive sport it is and not just a winter recreational game. India has huge potential when it comes to winter sports, and we’re glad that Royal Enfield has agreed to be a partner in our efforts to grow this sport and enable our players to compete with the best,” said Harjinder Singh Jindi, General Secretary, Ice Hockey Association of India.
In 2023, 18 Asian countries will be represented in the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship programme at different levels. These include Kazakhstan, Korea, Japan, China, the United Arab Emirates, DPR Korea, Turkmenistan, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, Hong Kong (China), Kyrgyzstan, Iran, Singapore, Malaysia, Kuwait, the Philippines, Mongolia and Indonesia.
The IIHF Asia and Oceania Championship (formerly IIHF Challenge Cup of Asia) gives Asian and Oceania members that are not yet part of the World Championship Program the chance to compete and gain valuable game experience. It is also an important platform leading to the Asian Winter Games.