Hockey on the highest ice rink in the world: Sun Life Financial plays pivotal role in supporting the growth of ice hockey in India

February 4 2016,  15.46 PM IST || Pocket News Alert

·         Leading Canada based financial services organization Sun Life Financial has partnered with the Hockey Foundation for an Ice Hockey tournament on the world’s highest rink at Karzoo

·         Ice hockey is slowly gaining popularity in India and playing it in the scenic Himalayas is a challenge every sportsman would relish

3rd February, 2016: With winter at its peak and a thick blanket of ice capping the scenic Himalayas, it’s time again for a bunch of loyal ice hockey lovers to head to the beautiful Ladakh region for a tournament set to take place at the world’s highest ice rink. Sponsored by leading financial services organization Sun Life Financial, the much-loved Ice Hockey tournament is back again!

Sun Life Financial has partnered the Hockey Foundation to conduct the tournament and also expand its reach to other parts of India to attract new audiences to the game. Sun Life Financial has donated approx. USD 30K for the event which will not only be used to conduct the tournament but also enable more coaches to travel to India from North America to teach the game to local players. 10 coaches will coach Indian children at various locations around India this winter, in comparison to 3 coaches who travelled to India last year.

Ice Hockey is Canada’s national winter sport.  However, the game has been slowly growing in popularity in India as well, particularly since The Hockey Foundation started promoting the Ice Hockey tournament in Karzoo and teaching our youth. The game has attracted hockey lovers, and adventure and fitness enthusiasts. “Sun Life is proud to contribute to a sport that can usher in a healthy lifestyle and make a difference in the lives of people and communities in which we operate.  The tournament is particularly fascinating as it is played at the world’s highest rink in the resplendently beautiful Himalayas. This partnership is aimed at both promoting this sport in India and encouraging healthy and physically active lifestyles,” says Rajeev Bhardwaj, VP Human Resources, Sun Life Financial, Asia Service Centres.

Started by sport enthusiasts from Canada, ice hockey in the foothills of the Himalayas has grown to become an annual sporting pilgrimage, drawing interest of teams and players from different corners of the world. The growing popularity of the sport in India has drawn its support from The Hockey Foundation.

The event also provides the local population an important platform every year to promote their unique culture and hospitality. During the season, the place is thronged by not just sportspersons, but also sports enthusiasts who don’t want to miss a chance to witness the game of ice hockey in the pristine snow-clad Himalayas.

Ever since the game found its calling in Leh, hundreds of children have learned the game and all of the amazing life skills that come with it. A game which is thriving here, could not have kept itself alive in the absence of support - both financial and in terms of training, something it has found from many quarters.