San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rica Hockey League Takes the Ice

Bruce Callow is hoping last week´s close of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games will spark a fire under his players.

The Canadian-born public affairs officer for the British Embassy in Costa Rica has been running a small hockey league at the El Castillo Country Club in San Rafael de Heredia, north of San José, for over 12 years now.

Canada´s gold medal 3-2 victory in overtime over Team U.S.A. on Sunday to cap off this year´s Winter Olympics has already had an impact.

“They were talking about it quite a bit last weekend,” he said. “We get together on Sunday, so it will probably be the topic of discussion this weekend too.”

Callow´s team is the El Castillo Knights, and the league consists of roughly 15 players, mostly between 12 and 14 years of age. Despite a lack of frigid winter temperatures and outdoor ice rinks in Costa Rica, Callow says that interest in the sport here is growing.

“We have new alliances and new programs,” he said.

Last year, the league organized a small competition with The British School of Costa Rica, which began training at the rink two years ago. This year, Callow hopes to recruit teams from The Country Day School and Lincoln School.

In December 2009, the league received a visit from Henry Nuñez, The president of the Costa Rican Olympic Committee, to which Callow said the team “responded really well.”

With a little extra help and few more motivating moments like last Sunday´s Olympic hockey final, Callow dreams of taking the league to the next level.

He hopes the growing interest that he sees in the sport will help reactivate Costa Rica´s Winter Sports Association, promoting hockey even further. And, one day, he might take a team of his own to the Winter Olympics.

“Ultimately, the goal is to have a competitive international team,” he said. “We hope that we can show the powers that be that there is a real interest in hockey and great potential for its future here.”

For more about Bruce Callow´s hockey efforts, or to join the league, contact him at:

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