Month: September 2023

Türkiye’s youngest ice hockey star sets sights on European glory

 Source: Daily Sabah

Türkiye’s 15-year-old Tan Nisan Göksal has become the youngest ice hockey player ever transferred to a European nation, signaling a bright future for both herself and her homeland in the world of ice hockey.

Known for their success in the Turkish league and their contribution to the national team, the Istanbul Pirates Ice Hockey Club is now beaming with pride over exporting young talent to Europe.

Tan Nisan Göksal, who rose through the ranks of the club’s youth system, has now made a significant move to Hungary, joining the Angels team.

During an interview with Anadolu Agency (AA) at Zeytinburnu Ice Island in Istanbul Göksal shared her aspirations and hopes for the future.

Göksal’s journey in ice hockey began at the young age of 5, as she recalled her early days skating along the Yeşilköy shore.

It was during one of her outings that she crossed paths with the players of the Pirates Ice Hockey team who were practicing on the rink, and that is when her love affair with the sport began at 6.

Clearly passionate about the sport, Göksal expressed her love for ice hockey and the exhilaration of being on the ice.

She emphasized the importance of family support in her journey, especially crediting her father for introducing her to ice hockey and fostering her passion for the sport.

Göksal’s talent was discovered by the Hungarians during a tournament in Hungary where she played alongside her Pirates teammates.

After a match, a member of the opposing team approached her father and expressed their eagerness to have the youngster on their roster.

When asked about what sets her apart from other players, Göksal pointed out her proficiency in skating, which eventually led to her potential being recognized.

She aspires to represent the Turkish national team, saying: “I’m currently part of the U18 national team. I also want to earn a scholarship to study abroad.”

The prospect of traveling frequently back and forth to play has raised questions about fatigue, but Göksal has acclimated to the routine.

She mentioned that while it was daunting at first, she has gotten used to it, and she prefers it because it allows her to continue her education in Türkiye.

Balancing her education with her athletic career is challenging, but Göksal manages with the support of her school.

She highlighted the importance of school support and understanding teachers, which enables her to continue her studies alongside her sports career.

Reflecting on her upcoming journey to Hungary, Göksal expressed her pride and gratitude while crediting the support she receives from her friends.

When asked about her advice to those curious about ice hockey, especially children, Göksal enthusiastically recommended the sport. “People do ask,” she said. “Yes, it is indeed an important sport. It is incredibly fun and action-packed. It is very fast, especially. You have to think on your feet. I highly recommend it.”

Her future goals include competing in the Youth Olympic Games (Gangwon 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games) after their U18 team defeated Mexico in England. She expressed her belief in the potential of the younger generation in Turkish ice hockey and wishes to see both the national and senior teams reach greater heights.

Oman gets first women’s national ice hockey squad

By Mohammed Taha – Muscat Daily

In a historic development, the first Omani women’s national ice hockey team was unveiled on Thursday at FunZone in Muscat. This landmark moment is the result of years of dedication of officials and relentless determination of the team members who defied all odds and challenges to pursue their passion.

Present at the team launch was H H Sayyida Hujaija Jaifer al Said.

Overjoyed at the momentous occasion, Sharifa Ali al Aufi, Secretary of Oman Skating Sports Committee, told Muscat Daily, “There’s immense confidence and belief in this team. I’m elated that we can represent Oman and am part of this pioneering initiative.”

Sharifa envisions the team making Oman proud on the international stage, with aspirations of competing in the Women’s Ice Hockey World Cup someday. Sharing how formation of the team began in 2021, she informed that the effort was spearheaded by Saud Nasser al Aufi, Training and Development Manager of Oman Skating Sports Committee. The initiative began with selection of just four players.

After rigorous training and friendly matches in the sultanate, the team recently underwent further conditioning in Kuwait. Its mettle will soon be tested in an international tournament in the UAE being held from September 5 to 9.

“We stand steadfastly with our team, especially as it debuts in the UAE championship. It will be competing against teams from Mexico, the Philippines, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE,” Aufi informed.

However, the journey hasn’t been without challenges. Highlighting the lack of adequate training facilities in the sultanate, Aufi said, “We have only three small stadiums, none of Olympic standards.”

Additionally, lack of equipment and financial constraints posed hurdles. Having overcome all challenges, the team now has 28 dedicated players.

With a national team now formed, Aufi has his eye set on setting up more teams across the sultanate’s wilayats to popularise the sport. “To encourage more youth to embrace the sport, and host Arab, Asian and global tournaments, we need Olympic-standard ice hockey facilities.”

He extended his gratitude to FunZone and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, saying, “Their unwavering support enabled us to meet the challenge and establish the national team. Kudos also to the families of our players for their immense support.”

He wished the team success in its international debut later this week.

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