San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rica Hockey League Takes the Ice

Bruce Callow hopes that the 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 Feb. 28 to cap this year’s Winter Olympics already has had an impact. “They were talking about it quite a bit,” he said.

Callow’s team is the El Castillo Knights, and the league consists of roughly 15 players, mostly between the ages of 12 and 14.

Despite a lack of frigid winter temperatures and outdoor ice rinks in Costa Rica, Callow says interest in the sport is growing.

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

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

Henry Nuñez, president of the Costa Rican Olympic Committee, visited the league, and Callow said the team “responded really well.”

With a little extra help and a few more motivating moments like the Winter Olympic’s hockey final, Callow’s dream of taking the league to the next level could materialize.

Callow said he hopes the growing interest he sees in the sport will help reactivate Costa Rica’s Winter Sports Association, promoting hockey even more. And, he said, it could be possible that someday he will take a team of his own to the Winter Olympics.

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

–Mike McDonald

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