It’s a country where table tennis is the national sport, but hockey is growing in China and some of that growth has an Okanagan connection.
For three years in a row, 12 players from the Shanghai Warriors have come to Kelowna in the pursuit of excellence.
While hockey is growing in most populated country in the world, it is still not as big as it in Canada.
“In Shanghai, it’s just easier. Here, it’s just more competitive,” said Shanghai Warrior Dawson Yu.
“It’s not the most popular sport, but a pretty decent amount of people play it,” said Shanghai Warrior Jarvis Lee.
There is one similarity, however.
“I want to be an NHL player,” said Lee.
It seems dreams of playing in the big league are all the same, no matter where you are from. But learning the game on its home ice is only one part of the experience for the visiting players from China.
“Hockey is only one of the things that we would like our kids to participate in and learn, but I think more importantly is to, through this experience, get something for their growth for their lives,” said organizer and parent Jason Lee.
Exactly why the same families have come three years in row with their young hockey players in tow to the Okanagan’s Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy.