After the Ice Hockey Association of India’s (IHAI) desperate call for support to fund the national team for an Asian-level tournament in Kuwait, Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir yesterday pitched in with a donation Rs 4 lakh to help the cash-strapped federation.
Pained to see the Indian ice hockey team’s fund raising campaign in a bid to participate in the IIHF Ice Hockey Challenge Cup of Asia Division I in Kuwait from April 18-24, the former India vice-captain has taken it as a “moral responsibility” to support the sport.
I felt it is a moral responsibility to support the game of ice hockey, it is a disgrace that in a country like India where sports have so much support these games are neglected. As a sportsman I believe I should always support smaller games,” Gauti said on his Facebook page.
On Twitter, the ice hockey team had said that the sport receives government funding only to attend the Olympics.
They also said that the players don’t have funds for their gear or to travel for the International Ice Hockey Federation Challenge Cup.
In our cricket-crazy nation, while cricket stars earn millions, other sports depend largely on government funding. The ice hockey team is denied even that option.
Using the hashtag #SupportIcehockey, the ice hockey team has been urging supporters to donate anything from Rs 100 up to Rs 1 lakh.