PETALING JAYA: Malaysia will lobby for winter sports like ice hockey, figure skating, speed skating and curling to be included in the 2017 SEA Games here.
Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin believes that there is a huge potential for these sports to win medals as there’s a big following, a competitive league and athletes with international exposure.
He said that Malaysia’s ice hockey league, held at Sunway Pyramid Ice Skating Rink, was as competitive as those in the other South-East Asian countries.
“Besides, several corporate sectors have started building ice skating rinks in Nilai and elsewhere in the Klang Valley,” said Khairy at the launching of the Malaysia Invitational Ice Hockey Tournament 2014 at the Sunway Pyramid Ice Skating Rink in Subang Jaya.
“There are even plans to build a rink in Putrajaya or Bukit Jalil. All these will be done within the next three years so as to give the players time to familiarise themselves with the venues.
“Winter sports are among the many sports that the Ministry is really looking at including in the 2017 SEA Games ... as they could win medals for Malaysia.”
Meanwhile, 200 athletes from Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Malaysia are taking part in six divisions – women, Asian, International, Under-11, Under-13 and Under-16 – of the invitational tournament.
The sixth edition of the tournament is organised by the Malaysian Ice Hockey Federation (MIHF).