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Using ice hockey to promote diversity and a culture of peace


Using ice hockey to promote diversity and a culture of peace

Hockey is Diversity raised awareness on sport as a tool to promote diversity and a culture of peace and encouraged other hockey teams to play a part in this initiative.


Celebrating hockey and diversity


The German Ice Hockey Federation held its third annual Pondhockey Cup at the site of the 1936 Winter Olympics in Garmisch-Partenkirchen on 17-18 February 2013. Spectators and over 80 teams from Germany and abroad came together to celebrate the love of the game.

One of the 80 teams participating in the tournament was Hockey is Diversity, founded by former professional hockey player Martin Hyun. Hockey is Diversity was founded to create awareness on diversity and to promote a culture of peace. Many former and current professional players as well as celebrities such as author Wladimir Kaminer support Hockey is Diversity as Goodwill ambassadors.

Promoting sport and development
This year’s Hockey is Diversity team consisted of former professional hockey player Matthias Frenzel, former German Junior League Championship winner Jurek Schwarz, Founder Martin Hyun, Co-founder of the initiative Peter Goldbach, Uwe Warnecker and member of the international distinguished music band “Söhne Mannheims”, Andreas “Andy” Bayless.

During the two-day tournament which saw many German hockey heroes and celebrities participating, the spotlight was on the Hockey is Diversity team and its message promoting diversity and a culture of peace. The Hockey is Diversity Team used the opportunity to talk to players from different teams and organizations on the benefits of using sport as an instrument for peace-building. Their message was further relayed by "Sport1", a TV station that made a short documentary about Hockey is Diversity and by a local radio station.

Positive reaction to Hockey is Diversity’s message
Hockey is Diversity received a positive reaction to their message. Some of the other teams pledged to use the "Hockey is Diversity" logo on their jerseys and pledged to follow the sports and development philosophy. An agreement was made to organise a youth tournament in April 2013 hosted by Hockey is Diversity.

Moreover Hockey is Diversity and the chairman of a fan group of the hockey team Polar Bears Berlin have planned to meet to talk about a possible cooperation aimed at talking to kids at school about the benefits of using sport as a tool for creating a culture of peace.

Martin Hyun was satisfied with the event and commented, “It is safe to say that with our presence and engagement in a dialogue with other teams we have created great awareness among many participants that were unaware of these kinds of issues. We have inspired many to participate and promote a culture of peace and to act as bridge-builders in society.”


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Martin Hyun


Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 23:01