HARBIN, China – The first class of hockey students have now graduated at the Sport University in Harbin, in a joint project kick-started by the IIHF Asian Office, the Chinese Ice Hockey Association and the Institute of Physical Education in Harbin.
Thanks to the project two ice hockey specific courses for ice hockey and ice hockey management were established in 2011. Now, four years later, the first seven students graduated successfully.
The idea of this program started back in 2010 with then IIHF Vice President Shoichi Tomita supporting the Chinese Ice Hockey Association, with the goal of having an institution that can provide hockey-specific courses for young prospects to work as coaches and managers.
The program has grown and including the graduates comprises 66 students that undergo this educational path in a four-year program. The program itself follows the “learning by doing” approach in which students work in and with real-life organizations and try to create a friendly environment and customize concepts to solve issues and make things happen.
The whole concept is based on regular “recruitment days” students need to organize in the city of seven million people in China’s Heilongjiang province. With these events the sport is pushed by the students to others, who then get a chance to play the game. After one year the students have to decide between the coaching and management courses to deepen their knowledge in their future profession.
While in the following years students of the coaching program will participate in different roles as a coach and focus on the Learn to Play Program in their own club with the players they recruited, managers need to run and organize these clubs, deal with parents or be involved in events of the Chinese Ice Hockey Association such as tournaments or domestic leagues.
The content of each course is aimed at supporting the development of the skills needed to successfully plan, operate and evaluate each project and development steps to introduce a progressive framework for the students to develop their skills with different age categories and organizational environments both at the national and international level.
Alongside the program there were also other positive outcomes. The students provided support to the Chinese Ice Hockey Association with the IIHF’s statistical system Hydra for their domestic leagues and, because of the rapidly growing number of students, the Harbin University was able to send their men’s and women’s teams to the Winter Universiade to collect international playing experience.
Last but not least the successful start of the Chinese Ice Hockey Association’s coaching program, in which currently 229 coaches undergo their continuous coaching education, has its roots in Harbin and the IIHF Asian Office is using students as result managers in IIHF Ice Hockey Challenge Cup of Asia tournaments.