November 30, 2013 9:18 pm
Updated: November 30, 2013 9:20 pm

Local resident brings hallmark Canadian game to India

Andrew Wahba (left) and James Turner (right) prepare to send hockey equipment to India.

Andrew Wahba (left) and James Turner (right) prepare to send hockey equipment to India.

Matt Myers/ Global Regina

REGINA – Andrew Wahba is gearing up for his first travelling project “Hockey in the Himalayas,” where he plans to bring hockey equipment to underprivileged children in northern India.

“I’m from rural Saskatchewan, so you grow up playing hockey, and playing hockey in the Himalayas will be awesome,” said Wahba.

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In January, Wahba will visit a remote village to deliver 50 bags of hockey equipment and 300 sticks. He’ll be partnering with the Students’ Educational and Cultural movement of Ladakh, a non-profit organization with a focus on educating children in India.

Wahba was inspired by his friend, James Turner. Turner was a volunteer teacher in India three years ago.

“The amount of work those kids did to manage the ice and make it possible to play hockey, is something that really stuck with me,” said James Turner.

And managing their rink was no easy task. Turner said children would use corn brooms and sheets of plywood to clear off the ice, while others hauled buckets of water from the river to flood it – all for the love of the game.

“It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before and I think if kids here in Canada had to do that much work, they wouldn’t play – because I know I wouldn’t,” said Turner. “It was crazy to see what they did to make it work so they could play hockey.”

That’s why Wahba is busy collecting donations for them here in Regina.

“People are being generous donating because they like the idea of spreading the game and if they can help out with their old equipment, they’re happy to do so,” said Wahba.

An estimated $3,400 has been raised so far.

For more information or to donate, click here.

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