The IIHF went to China earlier this month to hold an Ice Making Seminar in the capital city of Beijing.
The initiative, organized by the IIHF Facilities Working Group in cooperation with the Chinese Ice Hockey Association (CIHA) and the Huaji High School, was proposed in order to help provide a comprehensive workshop and information sharing to an elected group of regional ice makers and CIHA representatives.
The seminar ran from 2-5 July at the Huijia Jade Snow Ice Arena, a full-time arena located within the city and one of the few that operates year-round. The arena is home to the Huijia Green Dragon Ice Hockey Team, and typically gets about 90-110 hours of ice usage per week, making it an ideal venue to host the seminar.
“The playing surface of our sport is a main priority towards the safety of the players and quality of ice in order to have the perfect setting for ice hockey,” said IIHF Facilities Working Group Chairman Frank Gonzalez.
Over 50 people were in attendance, including from China various members of local arena staff, the CIHA, and ice hockey training schools. IIHF Vice President Thomas Wu was also among the representatives in attendance.
Aside from conducting in-class seminars on ice sheet development and maintenance, the attendees were also brought out onto the Huijia arena ice, to set up ice hockey markings and assist with organizing the ice sheet for a youth hockey game.
“For the attendees who came from China and Hong Kong to attend the seminar, it was very important for them to get a sense of the steps needed to develop ice rinks,” said IIHF Facilities Working Group Secretary Cornelia Ljungberg.
“What was very encouraging was that we in turn received a lot of support from the CIHA and also the students demonstrated a real thirst for knowledge. We have connected them with members from the Facilities Group via e-mail and messenger services so that they can continue to share knowledge going forward.”
Members of the Beijing 2022 Organizing Committee were also on hand to observe and evaluate potential staff additions to the ice crew that would handle the men’s and women’s tournaments at the Beijing National Indoor Stadium and the Wukesong Ice Hockey Arena.
The Ice Making Seminar is one of a series of initiatives that will be pushed forth by the IIHF and the CIHA, in the leadup to the Olympic Winter Games and beyond. Developing the sport in the world’s most populated nation is a top priority.
“At the IIHF, we always speak of development and transfer of knowledge and through the IIHF Committees. The IIHF Facility Working Group has worked on its purpose of existence and that is to teach IIHF Member National Associations to prepare the right playing field for our players and game officials and of course the fans in order to have them watch the best hockey possible at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, China.”
“I sincerely thank all the members of the Facility Working Group for spreading their experience among our members in order to achieve such a task as the IIHF has taken its first step to prepare for the Games in 2022 in Beijing, China, by promoting such seminars in coming years alongside the Chinese Ice Hockey Federation and BOCOG as the organizers of the Olympic Winter Games in order to make sure that the local maintenance staff and the playing field will also be in the best possible conditions!”