The Chinese women’s national team is coming to the Richmond Olympic Oval next month for training and to participate in the Canada-China Women’s Ice Hockey Tournament.
The trip to B.C. (Oct. 15-25) is part of the process building up to the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, with the final roster expected to be selected from the current training group. The tournament is the key component of the Second Canada-China Sports Exchange.
The Canada China Sports Foundation (CCSF) are co-hosting the four-team event, along with the Griffiths Hockey Club. The final game and closing ceremonies are slated for the Olympic Oval.
“This is the second year that CCSF is hosting a Canada-China Sports Exchange,” explained CCSF secretary general Wu Zili. “Last year’s ‘Beijing Meets Vancouver: Olympic Cities Forum’ gave the two Olympic host cities an opportunity to exchange their experience, knowledge and expertise.
“(This time) we will provide the Chinese women’s team an opportunity to play tournament games and get training in Canada, the top ice-hockey nation in the world. This is of tremendous help for Chinese players to improve their skills and tactics, and better prepare them for the Olympics. This is what Harmony through Hockey, Hand in Hand for Olympic Dreams really means.”
The Griffiths Hockey Club is co-founded by B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame and B.C. Sports Hall of Fame inductee Arthur Griffiths.
Club president Victor Tsao pointed out that, as a top hockey nation, Canada can offer the most complete training methods and facilities, and, more importantly, provide the best development strategies and experience to help promote the game.
Club advisors, Griffiths and former Vancouver Canucks star Cliff Ronning, attended last week’s press conference at the Oval and welcomed the Chinese team. They promised to provide the best possible living, training and tournament experience for the players, in order to maximize their gain in skills and tactics.
The tournament will also feature three other teams — UBC Thunderbirds, provincial champion South Fraser TNT and the Pacific Steelers.
As a non-profit organization with the mandate to promote social welfare and charity through the medium of sports, the CCSF will donate revenues from tournament tickets and sponsorship to the Pacific Autism Family Centre in Richmond.