Opening of the 2011 International Ice Hockey Championships | Western Cape Government

Speeches

Opening of the 2011 International Ice Hockey Championships

10 April 2011

Without sport, an education is incomplete, a life is unbalanced and a body is not challenged.

Sport is most often directed by the climate of a country, and the African continent typically enjoys a tropical climate. As a result, the sports played in Africa most often take place under the hot summer sun or cool winter showers. Cricket, rugby and soccer have come to dominate our TV screens and our attention. Instead of snowboarding, we have sand boarding, instead of skiing down the Swiss Alps, we have water skiing at Theewaterskloof Dam. Ice hockey, however, despite the lack of natural landscapes to support it, has grown in South Africa from a recreational pastime to a professionally organised sport. Indoor facilities provide the necessary environment, the players show extreme passion and, as will be seen over the next few days, the spectators grow year by year.

The Western Cape Provincial Government promotes talent development in all sports, and focuses specifically on our youth to grow talent. The passion shown for the growing sport of ice hockey in South Africa is commendable and needs to be met with support. As a result, the 2011 World Ice Hockey Championships, Division 3, will be taking place not only in the beautiful country that is South Africa, but in the jewel of its crown, the Western Cape!

I look forward to seeing what our teams have to offer and wish all participating countries, South Africa, Luxemborg, Israel, Greece, Turkey and Mongolia, the very best at this tournament.

Thank you.

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