India’s cash-strapped ice hockey team takes to social media
NEW DELHI (AP) — The Indian ice hockey association has turned to crowd funding to raise money to send a team to an international tournament in Kuwait next week.
In cricket-crazy India, cricket stars earns millions. And while other sports depend largely on government funding, it is not available to the ice hockey players.
The Ice Hockey Association of India launched its campaign last week using a Twitter hashtag and setting up a website to collect funds.
“The response has been very good as we already have collected half of the targeted 2 million rupees ($32,250),” hockey association director Akshay Kumar said.
He also said the association has received commitments from private groups and individuals to meet the target.
Kumar said a 26-member team would participate in the International Ice Hockey Federation Challenge Cup.
Ice hockey is not popular in India, but the association has been sending teams to various international competitions since 2010.
“We haven’t received any government funding so far,” Kumar said. “We will be eligible after the team starts participating in the Olympics or Asian Games.”