HELSINKI – The International Ice Hockey Federation grows to 72 members countries as two new members were accepted by the 2012 IIHF Annual Congress.
Jamaica joins the IIHF as an associate member, and Qatar as a full member under the precondition of an audit.
The Jamaican Olympic Ice Hockey Federation was founded last winter. The Caribbean country has one ice rink and currently 20 players but aims to grow the game and fulfill the criteria to participate in IIHF tournaments in the future.
And the dream is to once participate at the Olympics like the Jamaican bobsled team in Calgary 1988 that became famous in the film “Cool Runnings”.
The organization is chaired by Edmond L. Phillipps Jr., and his son Edmond R. Phillipps, a player and Level 4 coach, is the CEO. Both are Americans of Jamaican descent who want to develop their favourite sport in the country of their heritage.
Jamaica is the first Caribbean nation that joins the IIHF.
The Qatar Ice Hockey Federation was founded in 2010 to develop programs for senior and junior players and becomes the third country from the Gulf region after the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.
The country of less than two million inhabitants has two ice rinks, both located in the capital of Doha: the Villagio Ice Rink in the Aspire Zone and the City Center Ice Rink at West Bay.
The national league, which kicked off in the 2010/2011 season, includes five teams and 70 players are affiliated with the Qatar Ice Hockey Federation. As well, there’s an ice hockey school with more than 100 registered participants.
Click here for the country pages: Jamaica, Qatar