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How Sportskeeda helped the Indian ice hockey team raise money and participate in the Asian Championships

Recently, the Indian national ice hockey team was supposed to take part in the Asian Championships. But there was one major hurdle – they didn’t have the funds to make the trip to Kuwait, where the event was to be held.

Team supervisor Vedank Singh Raghuwanshi approached Sportskeeda on 2 April 2015, as did several other Twitter users. The issue got our attention, and we decided to implement a plan to help send our national team to Kuwait.

How we helped the ice hockey team

One of Sportskeeda’s content managers, Suromitro Basu, had a brief chat with Vedank and came up with a plan. We decided to champion the ice hockey team’s cause by first writing an article describing their situation, wherein we questioned whether the team would ever get their ‘mauka’ to represent India on the international stage.

The next plan of action was to further the cause of the ice hockey team via articles, tweets, Facebook shares and key social media influencers.

With Vedank’s help, we started sharing posts and photos on Facebook and Twitter, highlighting the plight of the team and the players, who were almost ready to give up playing the sport with no hope in sight.

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//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js#SupportIceHockey soon started trending in India, and a bit-giving page was created for collecting donations. The sporting community came to know about the situation when Sportskeeda tweeted in support of the ice hockey team and posted the article with their story. The bit-giving link was embedded within the Sportskeeda article about the campaign.

Within an hour, the Ice Hockey Association of India received close to Rs. 10,000. 

The idea was not to influence just the celebrities but also target influencers who had more than 15,000 to 20,000 followers. The fact that ‘Ice Hockey India’ trended ahead of Suresh Raina’s wedding (#RainaKiShaadi) speaks volumes about the support the team received, and that India is not just a one-sport nation. Before the hashtag trended, many Indians didn’t even know the country had an ice hockey team! 

We also sent emails to other media houses. 

Caption :  Twitter trends India : April 3rd
Twitter trends India : April 3rd

 

An interview with Vedank Singh Raghuvanshi (Team Supervisor, India ice hockey team)

The result? Indian Ice Hockey gets a new lease of life! In all, Ice Hockey India received Rs. 5.6 lakh from contributions through bit-giving. Later, Indian cricket star Gautam Gambhir himself donated Rs. 4 lakh though the Gautam Gambhir Foundation. Anand Mahindra also donated the same amount, giving the entire campaign a huge boost.

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Screen Shot 2015-04-18 at 6.43.52 pm (2)
Gautam Gambhir handing out the cheque to Vedank and  Tsewang Gyaltson (captain of Indian Ice Hockey team)

Vedank said, “Thanks to the support of Sportskeeda, we managed to get the word out that there is an existent ice hockey national team.”

They eventually managed to collect more money than what was needed. So where will the extra money go?

“The extra money will be used to host camps in Shimla and Jammu, we hope to pick up young talent over there,” Vedank said.

From being virtually non-existent, Ice Hockey India has now earned recognition around the country in a matter of days. It will now start building infrastructure through the money that it has earned and help put India on the global ice hockey map.

Pic from Kuwait

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