Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Ice Hockey Heating Up in Costa Rica


PURA EVENTS COSTA RICA – Ice hockey has been played in Costa Rica since 1996 at the Castillo Country Club which is located in the highlands above the town of San Rafael de Heredia.

Though the program is small, it has been steadily growing and last year it receive a big boost when the Castillo`s ice surface was doubled in size. Hockey is an expensive sport and one of the biggest challenges the program faces is properly outfitting its players.

The following blog tells the story of a California man`s unique quest to assist the Castillo Knights hockey program.

- paying the bills -

When I first read about ice hockey in Central America I thought, “Wow, that’s amazing.” I was so impressed by the program overcoming the odds and upon reading that the rink where they play and practice had just been expanded, I decided to write to see if I could help. Because of my experience as a board member of a non-profit in my home of Los Angeles, California and being a hockey player and fan myself, it just seemed natural to want to help. After emailing with Calgary native Bruce Callow, one of the coaches and founder of the program, I was able to get an idea of what the team needed.

Fortunately, the owner of a local hockey store (Discount Hockey in Los Angeles, California) and his sons play on a team with me and when I proposed the idea to help this program in Costa Rica, Richard and Chris, the owner and manager, were more than happy to help.

I live in Los Angeles and although I did not grow up playing ice hockey, I grew up watching it on TV and have been a long-time fan. About 4 years ago I decided to start playing ice hockey and I have more than doubled my love of the sport. It has really been such a positive influence in multiple areas of my life, as competitive sports generally are.

As I emailed Bruce, my desire to help his program grew, as did the list of useful equipment the Castillo Knights were in need of. Using Indiegogo, an online fundraising platform, we were able to get donations of sticks, hockey tape and other essentials from family, friends and our teammates here in Los Angeles, raising over $1,500 for the program in just 4 days. Because of the amount of gear, and at Bruce’s recommendation, I decided to make a personal trip down to Costa Rica to deliver the donated goods and skate with the kids in the program.

After my first flight was delayed causing me to miss my connection to Costa Rica and my flight the next day was almost canceled because of volcanic activity, the gear and I finally made it to Costa Rica. What an experience it has been! The coaching staff is great, the kids are a ton of fun and really seem to be enjoying this sport that is certainly not common to Central America. The rink at the Castillo Country Club is quite nice and the ice is good quality. You can tell they are proud of it, especially since it’s the only ice skating rink in all of Central America and the Caribbean.

- paying the bills -

Overall this experience has been one of a kind and one I will never forget. It’s truly great to see such an amazing sport growing so far from home. Like soccer, it’s a sport that requires great finesse, not only in skating skills, but in puck control and passing and shooting. But there is also a very physical and high tempo aspect to the sport that makes it so exhilarating to watch.

I am glad that the Castillo Country Club had the vision to be the first establishment to see the value in introducing this sport to Costa Ricans and I know this program will be a great benefit to all involved. It takes a lot of courage to be the leader in an untried endeavor and I really hope their support continues to increase.

Written by Chris Maltese

This article originally appeared on Puraeventscostarica.com


Q24N is an aggregator of news for Latin America. Reports from Mexico to the tip of Chile and Caribbean are sourced for our readers to find all their Latin America news in one place.

Related Articles

People with covid-19 affected by heavy rains will be placed in special shelters

(QCOSTARICA) People living in flood- or landslide-prone communities who are a...

Eruptions in Rincón de la Vieja volcano rose up to 2,000 meters above the height of the crater

The Rincón de la Vieja volcano, located between the cantons of...


Nicaraguan truckers block border crossing with Costa Rica in protest

(QCOSTARICA) Nicaraguan truckers blocked border crossings with Costa Rica on Wednesday to demand that the Costa Rica government lift sanitary restrictions on cargo trucks,...

Two New Yorkers find true love while stuck in Costa Rica amid coronavirus

Before the coronavirus pandemic, two New Yorkers, Matt Robertson and Khani Lee, were just beginning to get to know one another. They had been...

Bus drivers denounce abuse by employer companies

The National Union of specialized and related drivers (SINACOESA) reported that many bus drivers are being abused by their employer companies. According to the...

Coronavirus in Costa Rica: 28 new cases, “main risk for the country is Nicaragua”;

(QCOSTARICA) Health Minister Daniel Salas had a clear message at the press conference on Wednesday: the main risk for Costa Rica is the situation...

United Continues Commercial flights to/from Costa Rica

(QCOSTRICA TRAVEL) Commercial flights to Costa Rica continue though the arrival of tourists is prohibited until June 15, and international flight arrivals are permitted...

Daniel Ortega’s negligence spreads the covid-19 in Nicaragua

(TODAY NICARAGUA) Gregorio could not say goodbye to his father. When he found out that he was dead, men uniformed from head to toe...

Let's Keep This Going!

To be updated with all the latest news and information about Costa Rica and Latin America.