Photo: ALAMY

The Nepal Ice Hockey Association was formally announced on Wednesday, just months after fellow Asian country Oman became an official member of the IIHF.

According to the Association’s President Lok Bahadur Shahi, the organization is already recognized by the International Ice Hockey Federation. While funding and player support is next on the agenda for the country, it is certainly a good step in the right direction for the country that does in fact feature a lot of snow during the year.

“This marks a significant first step in the development of ice hockey in Nepal in an organised manner,” a statement read. “The international bodies are positive towards the development of ice hockey here.”

The country currently has zero rinks built to date, however Lake Tilicho is frozen for nearly half a year and can be used for training until a formal arena is constructed. The Association has identified Pokhara, Langtang, Khumjung and Kathmandu as initial areas for a new stadium, however nothing has been confirmed as of yet.

With no professional players known from Nepal, it’s unlikely to see this organization competing anytime soon. Regardless, is definitely a stepping stone for the future, with the Challenge Cup of Asia likely being the biggest target for the long term future.

Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

About The Author

Steven took a different route towards his hockey interests. Starting out as a big Habs fan, he started to gravitate towards the more obscure levels of hockey, such as the low level tournaments in Asia, strange club matches between teams most people in North America can’t pronounce, and even some 3am contests between Bulgaria and New Zealand. Aside from his love for strange hockey events, Steven occasionally acts as a mediocre ball hockey goalie following a failed attempt at making it to the NHL as a fourth line house league grinder. Beyond hockey, Steven is an avid racing fan and loves to chat about NASCAR, F1, Indycar, you name it. Oh, and don’t get him started on music. That is, unless you want the whole history of metal and a guitar lesson. Currently, Steven is a credentialed media member with the Mississauga Steelheads of the OHL, as well as with the Oakville Blades of the OJHL. Steven has also hosted the television show "The Hockey House" on TVCogeco in Ontario, as well as a segment under the same with on LeafsTV in Toronto. Home page: http://www.thehockeyhouse.net

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