|AIHL-ADFIHA team up to raise sport’s profile
The Australian Defence Force Ice Hockey Association (ADFIHA) and the AIHL have started to form a working relationship, aiming to increase the profile of the sport in Australia.
The ADFIHA is comprised of members of the Royal Australian Navy, the Australian Army and the Royal Australian Air Force who form made up of three teams - the Navy Tiger Sharks, Army Knights and the Air Force Eagles.
In early November, the teams took part in their inaugural annual Tri-Service Carnival at the Sydney Ice Arena in a round-robin tournament.
Sydney Bears Head Coach Ron Kuprowsky volunteered his time to help train the Army Knights before the carnival began.
His AIHL experience, leadership and coaching techniques were well received by the Army squad and helped give the Army Knights an edge in the Tri-Service Carnival.
Kuprowsky was on hand at the carnival to exchange jerseys with the Army Knights’ Lieutenant Cameron Smith, who was accompanied by Army Knights & ADFIHA Representative Head Coach Brigadier Anthony Rawlins.
Kuprowsky’s involvement with the Army Knights is just the first step in a longer plan which could see each of the ADF Ice Hockey teams aligned with AIHL teams.
This year, the Army Knights won the Tri-Service Carnival, defeating the Air Force Eagles 3-0 in the final.
Following the game, the ADFIHA selected a squad of its top players to represent the ADF at national and international Ice Hockey competitions.
The team travelled to the Armed Services Hockey Association Tournament in Las Vegas, USA where they finished the tournament with a win and pair of close losses.
Special thanks to ADFIHA President - Air Commordore Bill Kourelakos and former Army General Manager and ADFIHA Head Scout - Major Ben Smith.