Colombia is a tropical country that is known for its jungle and sports like soccer rather than for its snow or ice hockey. This doesn’t seem to matter to the Colombian Skating Federation, which is committed to train on ice surface to improve the technical skills of its inline hockey players, a discipline that takes place at the World Roller Games Barcelona 2019. This type of training is not practiced anywhere but only in countries where the predominant sport is Ice Hockey.
"The base of inline hockey is ice hockey because you learn to be smarter with the disc, to move it more quickly, to shoot harder and to think faster," says Eduardo Ortiz, coach of the Colombian junior team. For this reason, they’ve been training for 4 years in European countries where ice hockey is a leading sport.
"We are learning other hockey cultures by spending about ten days in other countries," said the South American coach. "This past year we have been in Russia doing training with two ex-players of the NHL (the best ice hockey league in the world)" However, they have also gone through other territories like Sweden or the Czech Republic to improve their player’s performance. In fact, in the Scandinavian country, they were trained by Mikael Kempe, father of two professional players who play currently in the NHL, Mario and Adrian Kempe.
"Everything we have learned in these countries we have transferred to the Colombian inline hockey," says the coach, who recognizes that this year they are better prepared for a World Championship. They’ve deposited great expectations to the yellow team in its junior category with the goal to qualify for "the semifinals, after having prepared us with such discipline", concludes Ortiz.
PHOTO: L. Velasco/RFEP