One Vision Can Pay Off For Team GB

So last Friday afternoon Team GB played another World final. Missed it? Well we are talking hockey just not as you might know it. We are talking Bandy, its like ice hockey only played on a rink the size of a football pitch, without contact and with a ball instead of a puck. Despite its popularity in Sweden and Russia it is also popular in places like Finland, Norway and Kazakhstan but unknown in most the rest of the world.

That is especially true in the UK where it is pretty much never heard off. Team GB Bandy though does have history very similar to Team GB ice hockey. Like ice hockey in the distant past it was Team GB who were the dominant country in the world. Their win in the 1913 European championship made them the defacto World Champion and then like the 1936 ice hockey world champions they vanished from the world scene.

This year though the Bandy team came back thanks to a lot of work and organisation and will next year return to the World Championships with a full squad. Who knows maybe one day the olympics will beckon.

This move from nothing to 1 win away from the full World Championships in a year is remarkable but shows what is possible when minds are put to it. Of course Bandy doesn’t have the same domestic pressures as ice hockey and is only focused on the national team but image if ice hockey had the same focus.

Perhaps if every organisation from leagues to clubs got behind the national team Team GB ice hockey would be able to be a mainstay in the World Championships and not just as a big achievement.

Neil Tucker

Neil has written on ice hockey for many websites concentrating on British ice hockey mostly. Neil also covers ice hockey in other countries and organises his Blueliner Hockey Tour. A graduate of the Manchester Metropolitan University Neil turned his hand to hockey writing in 2009. As well as contributing on Blueliner Hockey Neil has contributed to Get Real Hockey and Slapshot Magasine.

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