PETALING JAYA – Ice hockey maybe listed as a host selected sport when Malaysia hosts the 2017 SEA Games.
Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the sport has been shortlisted for consideration in the biennial games.
He said the Malaysian Ice Hockey Federation (MIHF) needed to show its team’s best performance at both the national and international level as a gauge for the event to be chosen for 2017 SEA Games.
“What is important now is for the MIHF to show its seriousness in preparing their players to deliver a gold medal for the country.
“Obviously, I do not want to choose a sport which cannot contribute to the country,” he told reporters after opening an international invitational ice hockey championship at Sunway Pyramid here today.
According to him, the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) and the National Sports Council (NSC) have been directed to discuss with MIHF on the proposal as well as to obtain detailed information on the development of the sport in the country.
“I have told MOM and NSC to look at their achievements and the development programme carried out by the association to produce potential players,” he said.
On the provision of venues for ice hockey, Khairy said facilities such as ice rinks at several locations in the Klang Valley and Nilai were mostly provided by the private sector
“I have informed MIHF that there is space to construct one at Bukit Jalil should I see the performance and involvement in the sport. Apart from the event, it could also be used for ice skating, speed skating and curling events,” he said.
Meanwhile, MIHF president Datuk Lee Hwa Beng said the association would take the Youth and Sports Minister’s challenge to put up their best performance to enable the sport to get featured at the 2017 SEA Games.
He said the ice hockey team would be participating in one international championship in Kuwait next year which could be used as a platform for the ministry to list ice hockey in 2017.
The 2014 International Invitational Ice Hockey Championships is being held for the sixth time since 2009.
The four-day championships from Sept 3 to 6 sees the participation of 27 teams with more than 200 participants from Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and the host country. – Bernama