The IIHF Development Department and its IIHF Asia and Oceania Office organized recently two Learn to Play Programs in the region in which a total of 15 IIHF Member National Associations (MNA) with 28 MNA instructors participated. Following those programs, the MNA instructors provided and transferred their knowledge to coaches from the Ice Hockey Association of Thailand and UAE Ice Hockey Federation.

“We are back, and we will work more structured and systematically than ever before for a better and natural growth in the Asia and Oceania region,” said Aivaz Omorkanov, IIHF Vice-President for Asia and Oceania when opening the program. “This new start will enable us to either kick-start, consolidate or build a stronger foundation in many areas.”

Omorkanov also thanked the Ice Hockey Association of Thailand and the UAE Ice Hockey Federation for their interest and support to hold this important IIHF Program as well as the IIHF supplier Bauer who contributed to the event in various ways.

The IIHF Learn to Play Program – one of the key elements to grow the sport globally within the new IIHF Strategy ICE26 – is built around educating Learn to Play Instructors from IIHF Member National Associations to provide them with the tools and know-how to run a successful Learn to Play Program back home.

“The IIHF’s major goal is to put its members in the position to run this program themselves in any environment. By providing and educating the MNAs with the experience and proven components of this platform, the IIHF is making strides  in implementing the new IIHF MNA Developer Program, which aims to equip all MNAs with the tools and resources they need to build their own ice hockey development programs nationally,” said IIHF Development Director Kalle Valiaho.

All findings, including newly defined measurable parameters, will be individually discussed with all participating IIHF Member National Associations and their participants alongside continuous support throughout the season.

More information about the Learn to Play Program are available on the IIHF website.