New Zealand along with 39 other countries, participated in the first ever collaboration between the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) in an U16 Ice Hockey Youth Camp in Tashkent, Uzbekistan in August.
Each country sent a coach, official, and one male and female U16 player with the overall idea of improving the development of winter sport and ice hockey and instilling Olympic core values and fundamentals.
Jaydee Cabral, the NZ coach representative, reflected that, “having access and guidance from Olympic level IIHF mentors provided a rich environment for learning and growth that I hope to pass on to the NZIHF.”
Under-16 player Lucy Boniface from Queenstown reported:
“Meeting new coaches, learning new playing styles from around the world, expanding my skill knowledge and overcoming language barriers were some of the biggest challenges I have faced, but had the best rewards. The coaches and players pushed me to play harder, try new things and become more confident in my abilities. I am sincerely grateful for the incredible experience I had. Thank you to the NZIHF, OCA and IIHF for making this happen.“