Malaysia Ice Hockey Federation (MIHF) recently played host to International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) President Luc Tardif from 17 to 19 Aug in Malaysia.
The 3-day working trip saw Tardif visiting the Ministry of Youth and Sports with IIHF Sport Development Manager for Asia and Oceania Harald Springfeld.
The purpose of the visit was to assist MIHF in addressing the facility issue with the relevant authorities and to assess the readiness of current facilities in Malaysia.
Tardif and Springfeld met with Minister of Youth and Sports, YB Hannah Yeoh during the MIHF National League that took place 18 Aug at Sunway Pyramid Ice.
“We have started the conversation but we have not firmed up anything with operators yet,” Hannah said about finding a permanent venue for ice hockey.
“It is our hope we can identify and lock in a home for our national team so that they have sufficient hours in a week for practice because at the moment they need at least nine hours a week for training.”
The IIHF President, accompanied by MIHF President YM Tengku Dato Dr Hishamuddin Zaizi YAM Tengku Bendahara Azman Shah Al Haj, MIHF Vice Presidents Datuk Cheah Soon Kit and Christopher Kung, also made a courtesy call on the Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports YB Adam Adli.
At the meeting, MIHF presented the current situation for ice hockey and highlighted the need to identify a permanent venue for preparations of the 3 national teams (senior men’s and women’s, and men’s U18) and development programs. MIHF also brought to Adam’s attention to the upcoming international competitions that are coming up in the next 5 years.
During the visit in Malaysia Tardif and Springfeld were given a tour of the current international-sized facilities and were encouraged by the quality of both sites. Tardif in addition pledged IIHF’s assistance in providing technical expertise to MIHF and the facility owners so that they are able to operate sustainably as a hockey venue.
Currently Icescape Ice Rink in IOI City Mall, Putrajaya is the only functioning venue that meets the international size requirement.