KUALA LUMPUR – Last season, the IIHF Asian office began to systematically establish coaching education programs within a handful of IIHF Member Nations in Asia. Last week, the Learn to Play/Introduction to Coaching seminar in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was where the next step to establish a greater foothold for the sport on the continent took place.
Ten countries – Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, India, Kuwait, Macau, Malaysia, Mongolia, Qatar, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates – along with 13 Coaching Directors/Instructors from the Asian region came together to share their coaching knowledge and get tips on how to help develop ice hockey in their regions.
Click here for a highlight video of the seminar.
“It has been a very good week and everybody was willing to learn, we look forward to working with the countries very hard on their future development and to make the next steps in order to grow hockey in Asia,” said IIHF Vice-President Thomas Wu. “Without the commitment to our development activities from all the countries this wouldn’t’ be possible at all.”
The week opened with a three-day instructor seminar, where an IIHF-designated instructor discussed proper teaching methods with the National Association Instructors, who then worked individually with each of the countries’ coaches, with the IIHF instructor in a supporting role. This is part of the IIHF Sport Department philosophy to “teach the teachers” who return to their own countries and teach the coaches.
Beyond the coaching seminar, opportunities to grow the game in Asia within the Asia 2022 Long-Term Development Project were introduced to all participants. The Asia 2022 project was conceived as a ten-year commitment between the IIHF and the member national associations that are members of the Asian Strategic Planning Group, to install domestic and regional development projects with the ultimate goal of raising development activities and participation levels.
For Malaysia this latest seminar was the next important step after the federation successfully started to work to establish structured officiating and coaching programs. After the Coaching Instructor seminar took place the Malaysian Ice Hockey Federation (MIHF) held their own participants’ seminar with 14 Malaysian coaches.
“Malaysia can be seen as role model when we talk about development”, said IIHF Asian Project Manager Harald Springfeld. “The Federation understands perfectly how to use the IIHF as a resource, as the IIHF cannot run hockey in all of our Member National Associations.”
“Together and in co-operation with the Malaysia Ice Hockey Federation we were evaluating the environment and status-quo for hockey in the country, then we set goals for different areas such as coaching, officiating and facilities. Then with the IIHF National Association Development Program and funding possibilities we introduced and started the necessary programs”.
In late 2014, Malaysia will get his first international standard-size ice rink. With the rink, and those development programs in place – both necessary requirements according to IIHF Minimum Participation Standards – Malaysia is aiming to join the IIHF World Championship Program.
“I would like to thank the IIHF for the possibility to work very close together and to get the support and know-how we need. The concept is working alongside the practical approach and discussions we have. We take one step after the other as we want to grow in a very healthy and natural way” said the Malaysian federation’s General Secretary Mrs. Susan Loh while already thinking to plan the next seminars and new league structure they need to have.
Up next will be a U18 development camp in March, followed by the 2014 IIHF Challenge Cup of Asia in Abu Dhabi.