A national ice hockey club was officially established in China on May 16. The club, anupgraded version of China’s national hockey team association, will assemble players on along-term basis, organize games and train players through competitions.
The announcement was made at a press conference in Beijing, held jointly by the ChineseWinter Sports Federation (CWSF), the Chinese Ice Hockey Association, HeilongjiangProvincial Sports Bureau (HPSB) and HC Kunlun Red Star ice hockey club. Vice-directorof CWSF, Wang Zhili, pointed out that the national club is one of the most importantachievements made during the ongoing reform of ice hockey in China.
The national ice hockey club is an achievement made possible only through collaboration.The HPSB will serve as a talent pool for the club, while HC Kunlun Red Star, the firstChinese team to compete in top ice hockey league KHL, will provide customized trainingplans for the club. In addition, each party that contributed to the club’s formation willoffer opportunities for the club to participate in foreign ice hockey leagues.
According to Wang, the teams in the national club will compete on behalf of both thecountry and HC Kunlun Red Star, which will greatly increase game frequency. This meansthe team can supplement training with competitions, Wang said.
The captain of China’s women’s national hockey team, Bai Wei, described her expectationsfor the new club and upcoming games.
“Our performance will soon be improved by participating in high-level competitions, and Ihope we can make a giant leap forward in the future,” she said.
(The story is also published on People’s Daily Online)