09/15/2015 2:51 PM
Team India Press Conference at Brampton City Hall (Photos By: Paul Jackow / Brampton Beast)
BRAMPTON, ON – During a press conference today, the Brampton Beast ECHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens announced an international friendly game against the National Ice Hockey Team of India. Media and fans gathered in the atrium of Brampton City Hall to hear the news about what is anticipated to be a very historic game. This will be the first time Team India will travel to Canada. The game will be played at the Powerade Centre on Friday, October 9th at 7:15PM in one of Canada’s largest hockey beds and South Asian communities.
“We want to shed light on hockey in India,” said Brampton Beast President and General Manager Cary Kaplan. “When India has over 10 ice rinks built and the team is playing at a higher competitive level, we hope that people remember October 9th as the day Team India played the Brampton Beast and as the day that ignited a passion for ice hockey in India as well.”
Kaplan explained that there are numerous ways for the community to get involved including billeting families for 10-12 Team India hockey players. The Beast and India Ice Hockey Association are also actively looking for sponsors to support the game. Kaplan mentioned that Brampton City Councillors Jeff Bowman and Gurpreet Dhillon will be honourary captains for Team India and Team Brampton respectively.
“Today city hall is buzzing with excitement at the announcement of this game that will surely bring people together in the community in a friendly rivalry,” said Mayor of Brampton Linda Jeffrey. Mayor Jeffrey thanked TV Personality and Hockey Commentator Dr. Parminder Singh for supporting the event and Brampton community. Also, in attendance representing the city of Brampton were Councillors Palleschi, Miles, Whillans and Fortini.
Head Coach of the National Ice Hockey Team of India, Adam Sherlip, expressed his excitement of the game and felt that Team India and the Greater Toronto Area could both benefit from the opportunity.
“We’re really thrilled to connect India’s national team to one of Canada’s largest South Asian communities and help develop the program in a great hub of hockey,” said Sherlip. “The hope is that this game is a success so that we can continue to do games like these in the future.”
Sherlip was initially asked to be involved with the National Ice Hockey Team of India in 2009 where he helped select and train the team. In April 2015, Team India participated the IIHF Ice Hockey Challenge Cup of Asia Division I in Kuwait. The team did not get there alone. The Brooklyn native coach helped launch a fundraiser for equipment for the team and to attend the tournament.
“They love the game no different than we do. They live for hockey. For their two to three month winters the only thing they do is play hockey everyday. If they don’t have equipment, they find ways to make it,” said Sherlip.
Sherlip will carry a roster of 10-12 players from India this October. He plans to host tryouts for the remainder of the spots on the team for any Canadian players of Indian descent who are interested in representing Team India. Tryouts will take place at the Powerade Centre in Brampton, Ontario. Tryout details will be released later this week.
Following Sherlip, the Director of the India Ice Hockey Association Akshay Kumar spoke on his feelings of how big of an opportunity this game is for the future of ice hockey in India.
“They have heard of Canadian hockey and have had Canadian players come over to India and show them how the game is played. Adam and I are excited about them experiencing the Canadian game first hand,” said Kumar. “It’s going to be a challenge they have never faced and they get to really experience ice hockey, not just Asian ice hockey.”
CLICK HERE to reserve your seat at this historic game at bramptonbeast.com or call 905-564-1684! Ticket packages for this game are $29.90 plus HST. A portion of the ticket package will be donated to Team India. Stay involved in the conversation on social media using the official campaign hashtag #IceHockeyforIndia. For media or general inquiries please contact Chris Ballard, Public Relations
Coordinator at 905-564-1684 ext. 210 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For sponsorship inquiries please contact Ken Vezina at email@example.com or 905-564-1684 ext. 208.