Sport: Dunedin ice world class

New Zealand is expected to have a team of between 18 and 24 competing at the Vancouver Winter Olympics next year.

### ODT Online Wed, 2 Sep 2009
Ice sports: NZ speed skating team to be based in Dunedin
By Alistair McMurran

Give another tick to the Dunedin Ice Stadium. It keeps attracting the elite and the latest good news is the decision to base the New Zealand speed skating team in Dunedin from next year.
Read more

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### ODT Online Thu, 27 Aug 2009
Ice Skating: Ice stadium esteem coup for Dunedin
By Alistair McMurran
Korea’s decision to hold a figure skating training camp at the Dunedin Ice Stadium next year is a coup for Dunedin, which is poised to become the ice sports capital of the southern hemisphere.
Read more

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### ODT Online Fri, 26 Jun 2009
Govt to spend $1m on Winter Games
NZ Winter Games 2009
The Government will spend $1 million on this year’s inaugural Winter Games in Otago, Prime Minister John Key said today. The southern hemisphere’s largest winter sports event, the biennial games will take place at Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Cardrona, Snow Farm, Naseby and Dunedin from 21-30 August.
Read more

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### ODT Online Tue, 21 Apr 2009
Ice Hockey: Dunedin confirmed as international ice sports venue
By ala
The success of the third division ice hockey world championships has confirmed Dunedin as an international venue for ice sports. The $4 million Dunedin Ice Stadium has brought international sport to the city and has lifted the profile of Dunedin as an international sports venue.
Read more

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### ODT Online Sat, 7 Jun 2008
Ice sports: Ensuring surface kept up to scratch
By Alistair McMurran
The Dunedin Ice Stadium has bought a $150,000 ice-resurfacing machine to meet the heavy international commitments the stadium will have next year.
Read more

11 Comments

Filed under Inspiration, Sport, Stadiums

11 responses to “Sport: Dunedin ice world class

  1. Phil

    Excellent links, Elizabeth. I had missed a few of those. I think that many in NZ underestimate the significance of what is happening here with the ice sports community. The recent Ice Hockey world championships had a TV viewing audience of somewhere around 700 million. That puts it right up there with the big money earner sports. Try and buy a ticket for a game in Europe or America, and you’ll see how popular it is. Our national team has really leapt up the world rankings over the past 2 years, a fact already noted by the top spending hockey nations. This is big, and a perfect promoter for the city. We have the market cornered.

    The big advantage that the Dunedin facility has, is that New Zealand is out of season for the major ice sports countries. Which means that there’s a place for teams to train, to send their development squads to, while the mainstream arenas are undergoing annual maintenance.

    While it costs to fly here, it costs relatively little to stay here, compared to venue hire and accommodation costs in the northern hemisphere. It’s already been happening for a few years now at the Cardrona Valley Snow Park, where the Swedish and Canadian cross country ski teams come for their summer training every year. Tack a gym onto the side of the ice centre and we could be well surprised about the potential international market for the facility. One that we don’t have to share with anyone else.

  2. Phil

    Well done to the organisers of this event. If Dunedin is to use sport to promote the region, then they need to move away from the extremely narrow mindset of rugby and into areas which are more appreciated globally. And ice hockey is one of those few sports that can offer fanatical support usually reserved for European football clubs. The global winter sport codes are something that Otago, as a region, can draw stronger ties with. I’ve been very disappointed to see a lack of reporting on the current efforts of the NZ ski team at the winter World Champs. I had to resort to You Tube to watch a brilliant fight a couple of days ago by the relay team in beating out some pretty heavy European hitters. I was very proud of the way that team performed, in true competition.

    I suggest that we let the Highlanders continue on their merry way by themselves for as long as that competition exists, but that some serious effort gets put into futureproofing Dunedin as a destination by using marketing that is going to appeal to people outside of our shores. Rugby won’t do that, but ice hockey will.

    As a trivia note, Sunday morning is the annual running of the Vasaloppet cross country ski race in Sweden. Around 16,000 skiers in a mass start race over 90km through the forests of central Sweden. This is a very exciting event, and I’ll be YouTube bound again.

  3. Phil

    Is Hayden Meikle a reporter for the ODT ? Seriously ? Someone should have mentioned to him at it might be a good idea to watch something first, before pretending to report with authority on it. What an absolutely ridiculous statement to make. There are more handbags thrown during an All Blacks match than there are at a professional hockey match. Way to go for some clown to damage one of the most up and coming sports in our region through ill informed stupidity. Why do they insist on giving these people access to a computer ?

    Hopefully someone from the Canadian Hockey Association and the US Hockey Association will be serving the promotion company with papers shortly.

  4. Hayden Meikle

    {No surname is necessary. -Eds}

    Hi Phil, (can I get a last name or is the blanket of anonymity too comforting?)
    Yes he is a reporter for the ODT. Just since 1998. Now sports editor. Yes, “they” have insisted on allowing me to have unfettered access to a computer all those years. Imagine.
    What “ill informed stupidity” set you off on that bizarre rant? The light-hearted opening to a light-hearted column referring to hockey players “hitting first and then asking questions later”? Sheesh, lighten up my friend.
    Interesting you appear to agree with me that this series should not be sold as USA v Canada, when it is quite clearly not.
    I’ll just scurry back to the same corner where I have written ice hockey stories, directed others to write ice hockey stories, arranged ice hockey pictures and generally helped promote a fine sport that is indeed developing nicely in New Zealand.
    And hey, at least the referees try to stop fights in rugby :)
    Some Clown.

  5. Phil

    Call it as I see it, Hayden. I was a season ticket holder for 3 years in Helsinki. As well as attending matches in Sweden and Russia. So I think I have a pretty good handle on the sport. It’s my number one sport, I should add. By a country mile. I can tell you, contrary to your opening line, violence is the last thing on those players’ minds. The pace of the game, and the skill level required, simply does not allow for it. The two notable exceptions to that are firstly, if someone dares to rough up the goalie, and secondly, if it’s an over enthusiastic Russian. What generally saves the Russian players is that their skill level matches their enthusiasm.

    Putting it into local terms, a single punch, or wrongly aimed stick, will reduce your team numbers by the equivalent of 3 rugby players for 2 minutes of actual playing time. Unlike rugby, there’s a zero tolerance level. No warnings, it’s an automatic bin. Rugby referees could learn a thing or two. Professional players don’t last long in the squad if that’s their preference. The stakes are too high.

    As a reporter you’ll know that it’s your opening statement which paints the picture for the reader. Anything that comes after is secondary to that initial portrayal. The signal that you sent out was incorrect, misleading, and a negative portrayal of the skill level in a developing sport which should be receiving far greater publicity for its achievements on the global stage over recent years. That’s where my beef with the article lies.

    How many parents may have taken a step back as a result of reading that opening line when thinking about their children entering the sport ? Had I not known better, I would have. I’m suggesting a little more thought for your readers, and for the subject matter before writing. That article smacked of sensationalism, which I’m sure you are better than.

    Ice hockey is a fabulous sport. It leaves rugby for dead with its simplicity, excitement, and skill. Dunedin is perfectly placed to lead the development of the sport into something truely special in the Southern Hemisphere. And, like you, I hope that they continue to do so.

  6. Phil

    It’s a while since this sport has come up, but it got me pondering again. I got in touch with a former work colleague of mine. Courtesy of luck with the time zone and the fact he was still up celebrating (with “Finnish white wine” ) his team’s win in the national finals 4 days ago (4 matches to 1, if anyone was wondering). Anyway, he confirmed what I remembered, that a number of players (3, he thought this year) from the Australian ice hockey squad have been playing in Finland and Sweden ice hockey competitions for the past few years. Not in the premier league, but in the grade just under that. It’s a mentoring programme where they get to learn, play, and train, during the regulár season between October and March. They are billeted within the club, so there are few living costs. But they have to pay their own fare to and from Australia. This is something that Sparc could be looking at. The national ice hockey team has the potential to rival that of the NZ basketball team. They won’t win the world championships, but they can make a real name for themselves on a truely global stage. Rubgy will always be limited in its appeal due to the small population playing the sport seriously. I’ve been disappointed with Sparc and they’re shortsighted when it comes to funding. They give the bulk of their attention to those who have already achieved. The irony is that a sport or athlete has to scrimp and save to rise to the level where they don’t need Sparc funding, and then they receive Sparc funding. A rather strange system.

    Hayden, I hope I’ve cleared things up for you. Don’t go finding it strange that I agree with parts of your article, while still disagreeing with other parts of it. Most of us here do try to give credit where credit’s due.

  7. Paul

    You know, this has the potential to be the biggest have in the history of NZ sports promotion. The whole sad debacle was best exemplified in the sad article on TV3 tonight which not only included radical inacuracies, it made up shit.

    Firstly, as we all know the games aren’t Auk Wgtn ChCh, Wgtn isn’t even a venue – Dunedin is. Secondly Kerry Goulet is not any Nth American Ice Hockey Ambassador – he’s a has-been 3rd tier journeyman – gawd only knows where they dragged him from.

    Originally they tried to promote it as Team Canada vs Team USA – which are heavily protected corporate sporting identities. This has seen the Team title dropped. Also, we so far only know of 2 NHL players (equivalent of Ruben Thorn & Buddha Summerville) coming. But not only that the Canadian Moose (think Harlem Globetrotters of Ice Hockey except crap) are coming to NZ at the same time, and on their site http://www.canadianmoose.org/ they are even using the same link to promote their game.

    Then there is the absolutely laughable request on the Canadian Moose site, asking people to join the team – all expenses paid. WTF? “Join Quincey and he’ll take you around all the best things to see and do in this amazing country, all on the promoters tab.”

    Click to access Recruitment_Brochure.pdf

    Which of course all suggests that this is nothing more than The Canadian Moose (if you want to be in the team) vs some other team. I don’t know about you, but if I took Poverty Bay v Buller to NY and tried to call it New Zealand Rugby international and then charged $80 tickets, I’d be sued to kingdom freaking come.

    Shame on TV3 for their awful story, shame on Radio Sport for getting on board this, and shame on anyone trying to con the genuine NHL fans here in NZ who have spent freaking years (living every single minute of the oh so close Vancouver Canucks 1994 Stanley Cup run at the Southern Cross pub in Wtgn) supporting and loving the majestic sport of Hockey.

    A bloody have.

    • Elizabeth

      ### 3news.co.nz Wed, 27 Apr 2011 6:34p.m.
      ChCh quake puts off ice hockey players
      By Jessica Rowe
      Professional ice hockey players from North America nearly pulled out of an exhibition game in Christchurch, following the February earthquake. The American and Canadian ice hockey teams are due to play exhibition matches in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch in July. However, after the earthquake they’re no longer so keen on Christchurch.
      Read more + Video

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      Added interest:
      http://slapshot.net.nz/general-chatter/canada-vs-usa-in-new-zealand

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