The youth hockey organization in Beijing has finally made it’s highly anticipated debut Currently the adult hockey league, Beijing International Ice Hockey (BIIH) has taken Beijing by storm, earning it’s spot as the most popular hockey program in the city. The team’s strategy for success is simple: build a strong community, get on the ice and have fun. Over the years the league has successfully created a close knit, loyal, home away from home. Center Ice Asia has followed in these footsteps and hopes to create a hockey community for the young ones living in Beijing. Each hockey coach is internationally certified, hailing from various parts of the world. The program uses first class training equipment, with a heavy emphasis on safety - allowing for a clean, safe and healthy indoor experience.
I sit down with Curtis Dracz, the general manager of Center Ice Asia and co-commisioner of the program to discuss how to get involved in this year’s youth hockey league.
Who can join? Anyone from the ages of 4 years old to 18. Whether you’re a female or male, a foreigner or Chinese, everyone is welcome to join. It doesn’t matter if you can’t skate - we’ll teach you.
What can I expect from joining this organization? Our international organization will help children to develop his or her basic skills and knowledge of hockey. They will learn about the core values of the sport, from teamwork, respect, sharing, leadership, discipline, dedication and most importantly, having fun. The program is structured into three stations: skating, balance and agility, and puck control. Players are divided based on their size and skill level. The head coaches are not only passionate about hockey but are also graduates of Vierumäki Sports Institute in Finland and have years of coaching experience. Overall, the benefits of joining are: being in good shape, making new friends, learning valuable lessons and forming an active social life.
Where is the rink? Haotai Ice Sports Center - Maquanying - Outside Quanfa Garden North Gate, No. 2 Xiang Jiang North Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100103 朝阳区 香江北路2号.
How often do you play? Twice a week. Practice once, then a game at the end of the week. Learn to Skate runs one to two times per week and our selects program, the Royals, will train two to three times per week. In addition, there are training sessions available which focus on specific hockey skills.
When does the league start? Open House and Registration starts on August 18th. On the weekend of August 29th and 30th we have the official launch party for the Fall season and the unveiling of the new arena - stay tuned, as these dates may change due to construction. On August 29th we invite families and friends to hang out at the rink to watch a nail biting match as the men’s league go head to head in their annual Beijing International Ice breaker Tournament. On August 30th there will be a family BBQ and a free skate from 12:00pm to 2:00pm. This will be a great opportunity for parents, teens and friends to ask more questions and get involved in the hockey community in Beijing. Although the program officially begins in September, registration starts now.
No matter if you’re new to this city or have been here for years, this program is worth checking out. It’s a great chance for children to learn and develop lifelong lessons and friendships. The hockey community is strong, close knit and newcomers are always welcome. Even if you aren’t Canadian, you’ll find hockey is fun on and off the ice.
To register click here.