Thursday, June 1, 2017 - Submitted by Bernard McNamara
The Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL) All-Star Weekend presented by APA Group is a unique annual event on the Australian sporting calendar, celebrating the talents and personalities of the best ice hockey players in Australia. The AIHL, in partnership with APA Group, launched the inaugural AIHL All Star weekend in 2015. It has since gone from the strength to strength, with fans flocking from all over the country to witness the sporting spectacle.
APA Group, Australia’s leading energy infrastructure business, has been the AIHL’s principal sponsor since 2012. The AIHL’s partnerships with leading businesses such as APA Group and Air Canada have helped drive the growth of the national league and events like the All-Star Weekend.
Winners of the 2016 All Star Skills Competition and the All Star Game with APA Group CEO Mick McCormack and the coveted Mick McCormack Cup. Photo: Mark Bradford.
APA Group Chief Executive, Mick McCormack is proud of his company’s support of Australia’s premier ice hockey events.
“APA is very proud to be associated with the AIHL’s All-Star weekend, a signature event that showcases the skills of this high performance sport”, said Mick.
“The All-Star players embody values that we at APA want to foster – constantly striving to deliver the best.”
Mick’s passion for ice hockey extends beyond the All-Star weekend and his willingness to lend a hand are helping to expand the sport’s horizons in Australia.
“There is nothing like seeing the AIHL live”, said Mick, “The speed, intensity and physicality - I’m enthusiastic about the growth of the league and sharing this experience with more and more fans across Australia.”
Each year, the Most Valuable Player of the AIHL All-Star Game is presented with the Mick McCormack Cup, showing Mick’s personal support for the league while recognising and encouraging individual excellence.
The annual recipient of the Cup also receives a cash prize, which acts as great incentive for the players, ensuring a weekend of incredible action for fans.
“Some of these players are from overseas”, said Mick, “When they go home, I want them to tell other young players, wanting to play in their (northern hemisphere) off-season, that there’s a great opportunity to come down to Australia to participate in a very healthy national league. This also helps our home-grown talent by working alongside and competing with international players.”
The 2017 AIHL All-Star Weekend presented by APA Group will be held at the O’Brien Group Arena in Melbourne on the 3-4 June.
Fans can expect a festival atmosphere with intense competition for bragging rights. The two All-Star teams will be led by Melbourne Ice’s captain Lliam Webster, and the Melbourne Mustangs’ Jamie Bourke. Both players are hometown fan favourites with a well established rivalry.