Rotary Club of Phuket South Mini Marathon 2017 The Phuket News Kata Rocks The Phuket News Outrigger Koh Samui Beach Resort
The Phuket News World Sport
The Phuket News Phuket | Thailand | World  | Surf Report  | Predictions XML, RSS, Feed
The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News

Is it Cool Runnings too?

ICE HOCKEY: They come from a tropical country better known for palm-fringed beaches and big-wave surfing than winter sports.


AFP

Saturday 18 February 2017, 12:00PM


Members of the Indonesian ice hockey team listen to Malaysian coach Gary Tan (centre in white) ahead of the upcoming Asian Winter Games. Photo: AFP
Members of the Indonesian ice hockey team listen to Malaysian coach Gary Tan (centre in white) ahead of the upcoming Asian Winter Games. Photo: AFP

But Indonesia’s plucky ice hockey team hopes to defy the odds when they skate into a major international tournament for the first time at the Asian Winter Games in Sapporo next week.

The players are part of the first contingent of Indonesian athletes ever to participate in the games, with the Southeast Asian nation also sending figure skaters and short-track speed skaters to compete in Japan.

For the part-timers in Indonesia’s ice hockey team – whose story has echoes of the Jamaican bobsleighers of the 1988 Winter Olympics, whose story was turned into the hit comedy movie “Cool Runnings” – it will be their toughest challenge yet.

“This is the first time ever they’ve played in a real, international competition,” said coach Gary Tan, after a vigorous training session at one of the country’s three rinks, on the outskirts of Jakarta.

“It’s going to be a very tough task – but it’s not going to be impossible.”

Tan, a Malaysian who has been drafted to get the team into shape before the tournament, shouted orders at the players dressed in red and yellow outfits as they skated at high speed, practising tackles and trying to smash the puck into the net.

They huddled on the ice at the end of the session, as Tan gave them pointers.

The rough and tumble of ice hockey is a change for many of the players who are not paid to be on the national team and must earn their living in day jobs ranging from office workers to start-up entrepreneurs.

Indonesia are sending a 23-man squad – 20 players and three goalkeepers – to the Games, many of whom have played in club tournaments abroad.

But they will face more experienced opponents in their group at the Games, which will welcome some 2,300 athletes and supporters from more than 30 countries between February 19-26, including Iran, Malaysia and Macau.

“Obviously we are the underdogs,” conceded team member Felix Utama, a 26-year-old whose day job is in the IT industry.

Even getting an ice hockey team together to practice regularly is a challenge in Jakarta, a chaotic, sprawling metropolis whose sprawl takes in some 28 million people.

C and C Marine

The players need to travel up to two hours through the city’s notorious gridlock to get to the rink in South Tangerang, a commuter city outside the capital. Most only make it to half of the practice sessions.

Ice hockey is an unlikely sport for anyone to play in the sprawling archipelago, which lies in the tropics and where the mercury rarely drops below 25 Celsius.

Tan said a major challenge for promoting ice hockey in Indonesia was that the sport was not ingrained in the national culture like it is in colder countries.

“The biggest thing is the mindset, the culture,” he said.

“If you are brought up in a hockey culture, a winter country, then it is completely different because everybody eats and sleeps ice hockey.”

Nevertheless, the fast-paced sport has won a small but dedicated following as a more exciting alternative to disciplines where the country has traditionally done well internationally, such as badminton and weightlifting.

Tan hopes the upcoming tournament can prepare the players for a more modest goal: the smaller Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia in August.

But the Indonesian government is more ambitious, and envisages one day sending an ice hockey team to the Olympics.

“If they perform very well, probably we would like to take part in the next Winter Olympic Games,” said sports ministry spokesman Gatot Dewa Broto.

And while the chances of a giant-killing seem remote, Indonesia’s players believe they have a chance of pulling off a surprise in Japan.

“We are going to show you what we’ve got,” said assistant coach Andianto Hie, 30, in a message to those who may doubt his team’s ability.

 

 

The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Comment on this story
* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.
Comments Here:
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
CAPTCHA
    Forget your password?

Be the first to comment.

The Phuket News
The Phuket News The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Share this
The Phuket News
Have a news tip-off? Click here
The Phuket News
Related stories
The Phuket News
Phuket community

Recent Comments


Cabbie caught, charged with raping Brazilian tourist

After he did this for the 3rd time now he should get a long jail term and after that he should be kept in precautionary custody....(Read More)


Parks department mulls closing Maya Bay

Although i agree that something has to be done about" Maya Bay",i find it strange that Kurt comes here with an endless finger pointing comme...(Read More)


Phuket M-Slaz rider dies after high-speed collision with pickup truck

I'm with simon01 on this one. We do know the truck pulled out in front of him. Kurt, maybe "high speed" was a contributing factor, b...(Read More)


Phuket M-Slaz rider dies after high-speed collision with pickup truck

Yet another one. Why dont people look when pulling out, setting off, doing U turns, changing lane. Ok they say the bike was going fast BUT in Phuket t...(Read More)


Srivara insists Mae Hong Son governor tied to sex trade scandal

Is mr Suebsak still holding official Governor position this time? Is it not appropriate to transfer him out of the province to a ( perhaps temporaril...(Read More)


Cabbie caught, charged with raping Brazilian tourist

Yep once again Jor 12 completely missing the point, if the guy has been convicted twice already how on earth has he been allowed anywhere near a publi...(Read More)


Phuket M-Slaz rider dies after high-speed collision with pickup truck

The person who drives 'high speed' is always at fault when a accident occurs due to 'out of control'. Traffic law is very clear. Mo...(Read More)


Phuket Army chief confirms BYO umbrellas, sun loungers welcome at Surin Beach

While banning vendors on the beach will remove certain money making opportunities for locals, it will also create new opportunities... like rental ser...(Read More)


Parks department mulls closing Maya Bay

Indeed, simon01 is right. There should be at least a recovery time schedule as at the Similans. One piece of writing really did strike me: ...&qu...(Read More)


Red Bull heir threatened with arrest after latest no-show

"Been threatened with arrest" I bet he's really worried now! haha Time to buy more brown envelopes....(Read More)

The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Bangkok Hospital Phuket
PHUKET NEWS
Phuket
Thailand
World
Business
Q A
Weird World
ARCHIVE
POLL
CURRENCY
WEATHER
PHUKET TIDE TABLE
The Phuket News PHUKET LIFE
Phuket Arts
Phuket Community
Phuket Culture
Phuket Dining
Phuket Education
Phuket Entertainment
Phuket Environment
Phuket Health
Phuket People
Phuket Technology
Phuket Travel
Photo Galleries
COLOURING BOOK
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket
Thailand
World
SURF REPORT
PREDICTIONS
The Phuket News PHUKET CLASSIFIEDS
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
SEARCH CLASSIFIEDS
POST CLASSIFIED
The Phuket News The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Buy Tickets
POST EVENT
The Phuket News PHUKET DIRECTORY
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
POST LISTING
The Phuket News BARGAINS
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Subscribe
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
CONTESTS
Content Google Map
Site map
Australian Visa Services
 
Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News
LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News
Copyright © 2017 Class Act Media. All rights reserved. | Website usage terms and conditions | Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.