The Indian Army joined hands with the Jammu and Kashmir civil administration and the Himalayan Sports and Cultural Development Organisation to host an ice hockey tournament at minus 22 degrees, India Today reports. The competition was organised at Drass town in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, the second coldest habitat in the world.
A video posted by Youth Service & Sports Kargil on Facebook shows a ongoing match in the tournament.
Army officials said, “The event was conducted from 28 January to 4 February in which eight teams from Drass participated". The Indian Army hosts the tournament on a yearly basis and in recent years has seen increasing enthusiasm among locals.
The army will try its best to ensure players reach national and international levels, said Brigadier Naveed Kumar Goel, at the finals of the tournament.
The Brigadier assured the players and residents that the Army would give its complete efforts to further popularise the sport in the western region of Ladakh. He also appreciated the passion of the participating teams and players’ sportsmanship.
Famous ice hockey player, Mohammad Amin, said, "The women in the national ice hockey female team are all from Ladakh region, and almost 80 per cent men in the national team are from this region. What is lacking is the support from government and sports ministry. If they support us financially and logistically, Drass can achieve new heights in ice hockey and make our country proud. Presently, only the Indian Army is helping us organise these events and provides us with logistical support."
Amin added that other states and foreign countries have artificial ice rinks compared to the natural ice rinks in the state which are thicker and sturdier.
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