Central America Ice Hockey gets nod from Canada PM

The Castillo hockey team. (Photo Tico Times)

CANADIAN Prime Minister  Justin Trudeau has sent a message of support to the organizers of an international ice hockey tournament in Central America.

The two-day Castillo International Ice Hockey Tournament will take place in the region’s only ice skating rink, at the Castillo Country Club in Heredia, Costa Rica.

Senior level teams from Calgary, Alberta, Los Angeles, the Falkland Islands and the Castillo Country Club will be competing.

The original Castillo ice rink was built in 1974; in 2014 it was enlarged and modernized, creating more interest in the hockey program which got its start in 1996 reports The Tico Times.

The Castillo rink is about half the size of a regulation hockey rink, ideal for the 3-on-3 (plus goalie) games that will be the format for the tournament.

The Castillo squad is a mix of some of Costa Rica’s up-and-coming hockey talent combined with seasoned Canadian expats who coach and sponsor the program.

One of the elements of the tournament is the participation of a team from the Falkland Islands. The Falklands team competed in two international ice hockey tournaments in Punta Arenas, Chile, winning the tournament in 2015. Castillo hockey players range in age from six to the mid-40s, and there is a growing number of women players.

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau sent a message to participating teams and thanked  the Castillo Knights Hockey Club for organizing the  event and for promoting Canada’s national game.”