Do you believe we play ice hockey in Brazil?”
There are a handful of athletes in Brazil who never stop dreaming about ice. There is not a single ice rink in Brazil so hockey has developed largely on outdoor courts with players skating on inline skates. Over the years, inline hockey has gained a following and Brazil has been to the world championships on numerous occasions, but for most of them, inline is still a substitute for the real thing.
Since 2014, some of the players have had a chance to practice and compete in an international ice hockey tournament in Mexico City once a year. During this two–week period, the team comes together, re-learns how to ice skate and competes against teams from North and South America. They are the Seleção Nacional do Hoquéi no Gelo do Brasil – The Brazilian National Ice Hockey team.
In their first year they lost every game miserably but in 2015 things began to change. Under the guidance of a volunteer coach from Minnesota, USA, the team took the Bronze medal. It was an exceptional year – both in their victory and in the level of financial support they received, which allowed the coaching staff to put together a strong team.
Typically, as was the case in 2016 and will be in 2017, the team receives absolutely no support from the country they represent. The players pay for their own airfare, lodging, food and equipment. They each spend thousands of dollars on the trip because it is – for most of them – their sole opportunity to play ‘real’ hockey. More importantly, perhaps, they do so because they are honored to represent the country they love, even when none of their fellow countrymen know they exist.
Note from Coach Hinderlie –
The enthusiasm for this sport is unlike anything I have ever seen. There is so much potential here in this great country. Our goal is to win Gold at the Pan American games to show the Brazilian government and businesses that Ice Hockey is a sport that they need to invest in. Eventually, further investment could lead to an actual ice rink in Brazil.
In my two years of coaching, we still have not been able to bring the best team to this tournament for financial reasons. My hope is that – with your support – we can do that this year. In addition to Mexico we want to expand our ice skating experience to the United States.
Currently our players have no way of training on a real ice sheet. We need to train on ice for 15-30 days in 2018. We have proven that we can compete on an international level and with your help, we will continue to make ice hockey a reality in Brazil.
Our goal is to raise enough money this year to send 22 players to the United States to train, compete and have the experience of a lifetime doing what they love. In doing so, our players will return to Brazil to show their culture and their country that with dedication even the seemingly impossible can become a reality.
In 2016, the team partnered with an independent filmmaker to produce “Dreams of Ice,” a 20–minute documentary which tells the story and the passion of the Brazilian Hockey Team.
Watch the trailer below and for a donation of five dollars or more we will send you a link to the full-length film.
Please donate and help Brazil Hockey finally achieve their dream of ice!