Ice hockey players demand proper infrastructure for game in Leh

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Leh, Dec 14 (ANI): Ice hockey players in Leh have demanded proper infrastructure and equipment to play the game.

In India, ice hockey was first played in Shimla during British rule. Then in the 1980s, the Indian Army started playing ice hockey in Ladakh during their postings at the remote and cold places.

The Ladakh Winter Sports Club (LWSC), which was formed in 1985, offered coaching and organised tournaments, slowly moving the game away from the army's clutch into civilian ownership.

But the lack of proper infrastructure came in the way, as the players don't have a proper rink to play and practice throughout the year.

"There is no proper ice hockey here. It is still under construction although it was supposed to be ready almost three to four years back. We appeal to the government not to delay anymore. It should be constructed as quickly as possible so that we can practice the game throughout the year," said Sohail Ahmad, national ice hockey player.

"Everyone knows that this game is quite dangerous. Without proper equipments, it cannot be played," said Abdul Hakim Giri, national ice hockey coach.

In March 2009, the National Ice Hockey team from Ladakh, made its debut at the international level at Abu Dhabi, (UAE) to participate in the 2009 International Ice-Hockey Federation (IIHF) Challenge Cup.

The mountainous region of Ladakh has possibly the country's highest ice-skating rink at 3483 meters above sea level. (ANI)

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