The 2018 winter Olympics held in South Korea came and went with just two participants from India. India, a country with a population of 1.3 billion, did not have enough athletes to participate in various games in the Olympics.
Several parts of India have winter all year long. There is a natural place available with required atmospheric conditions to practice for winter games like ice skating and ice hockey. The only thing missing was the infrastructure and coaching to enable them at these places.
In order to remedy that, a Bird Group Enterprise iSKATE has partnered with The Hockey Foundation (THF), a New York City-based non-profit, to inaugurate world’s highest ice hockey rink in Chibra Kargyam village of Leh district. The rink, located at an altitude of 4374 meters, is made as per the Olympic standards. The dimensions of the rink are 60 m by 30 m.
The move will nurture and develop the sport of Ice Hockey in India, empowering the under served youth, promote social change and support community development, which is also the mission of THF.
“With support from the government and sporting bodies we are committed to strengthen infrastructural development of world class ice skating sporting venues such as iSKATE, so that players are able to perform their best”, said Karan Rai, Operations & Business Development Head, iSKATE.
iSKATE is also looking forward to partner with the Government of Uttarakhand to revive and operate the only international regulations Ice Skating Arena in India, located at Dehradun. It proposes to provide technical guidance, through their expertise in operating an ice rink in the most energy efficient way.
The 2500-capacity rink was built during the South Asian Winter Games in 2011 and is the only international sized skating rink in the country. However, post the South Asian Winter Games in 2011, the rink has been inactive due to its high maintenance cost. The association of iSKATE might not only improve the infrastructure and management of the rink, but also bring it in light at national level, encouraging more athletes to learn and participate in the sport. And with enough efforts made by the organization along with state and central governments, India can aim for glory in the next winter Olympics.
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The CSR Journal Team