Back in the 1970s, ice hockey was played as a recreation sport by the general public at “Ice Palace” which was located in Pahlavi Street before Vanak Square, there was also another ice rink located in Aryamehr Sport Complex which was only used for ice skating. As a result of Iranian Revolution, ice hockey and skating became banned, hence ice rinks got closed down.
There are currently three Ice Rinks which are Aramis Sports Complex (Tehran), Damoon Shopping Center (Kish Island) and Padide Shandiz Shopping Center (Mashhad), which were respectively opened in 2013, 2014 and 2015. There is a standard Ice Rink underconstruction in Tehran.
In July 2015, Taylan Aytac from Turkey, taught in Iran’s first ice hockey workshop which was held in Aramis Sports Complex in Tehran, which was also attended by Iranian trainee-instructors Pooya Ghandali and Saman Goodarzi.
On 1 October 2016, the first ice hockey match was played between two Iranian teams in a friendly in Padide Ice Rink in Mashhad, Padide defeated Khorasan Razavi 5-4. It must be noted that both teams have been training twice a day since September 2016.
As of 2015, Iran decided to form a national Ice Hockey team with the intension of participating at the 2017 Asian Winter Games. A team was formed in the first quarter of 2016 after Iran made a campaign of recruiting players of Iranian heritage who live abroad. In order to fast track the creation of a national team, the coaching staff decided that it would be best to select players from the Iran national inline hockey team powered by hockey players of Iranian-origin from abroad. In 2016 three national camps were held, 26–28 June in Asiago (Italy), 20–27 August in Almaty (Kazakhstan) and 21–24 December in Dubai (United Arab Emirates). In each camp players were coached by three different instructors, Christian Müller from Germany, Former Head Coach of Kyrgyzstan and Yenbek Almaty, Sergei Shavernev from Kazakhstan, and Head Coach of Dubai White Bears Troy Kahler from Canada.
On 23 August 2016, Iran national team played its first match against a non-Iranian team. Iran won 5-4 over Kazakh team HC Almaty in the city of Almaty in Kazakhstan.
Iran was to participate at the 2017 Asian Winter Games, but was disqualified after a number of Iranian players were deemed ineligible to compete in the regional games. Reported concerns leading to the disqualification includes some players failing to reside in Iran for at least three years despite having Iranian heritage, and claims of some players having represented other countries. The games was supposed to be the team’s first tournament.
The Olympic Council of Asia allowed Iran to play its scheduled games at the Asian Winter Games but the matches were considered exhibition games and results did not count in the competition standings. Iran’s first match against a national team was the 7–1 defeat to Macau in Sapporo, Japan. The game was supposed to be Iran’s first match at the Asian Winter Games if they were not disqualified. They won 10–3 in their second exhibition game against Indonesia in Sapporo.
This story is the last training of iran national ice hockey team before Asian winter Olympic Games.
By: Farzam, Mohammad/Podium Photos