Did you know that India has its very own Ice Hockey team? And that they are going to participate in an international championship purely on funds raised through their crowd-funding campaign?? Here’s how it happened!
Not many of us know that India has there is an Indian Ice Hockey Team. The team, consisting of Army jawans, Indo-Tibetan Border Police and students, and coached pro-bono by Adam Sherlip, has been representing our country worldwide.
Even though the climate of the country is not conducive for the sport, the sheer passion of the team and support from well-wishers has helped the team come this far.
Later this month, The Indian Ice Hockey team is scheduled to participate in the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Challenge Cup of Asia Division 1 in Kuwait.
The bare minimum cost of going to the Championship is Rs. 12 lakhs without adding the cost of an international coach and training.
It all started a week back when the Ice Hockey Association of India (IHAI) launched a Twitter campaign. Within an hour, the #SupportIceHockey hashtag started trending nationwide and saw support pouring in. IHAI was adamant on the team attending the championship and turned to crowd-funding on the BitGiving platform to raise funds.
This infographic visually answers your question: “How the Indian Ice Hockey team raised funds?”
Ishita Anand, CEO, BitGiving says, “The campaign found huge support on Twitter with the hashtag #SupportIceHockey and the campaign link started trending within an hour of the campaign going live. People came together to support a sport which they never even knew existed in India and that is the power of crowdfunding – the democratization of fundraising and people coming together to support a team’s passion. We’re thrilled to see the response – both as a crowdfunding platform and as citizens of the country.”
In less than a week, the team has been able to not only fund its costs through its online campaign but has also got some corporate sponsors on board for the first time in Indian history.
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This is not the first time that crowd funding has been tried in India. Although in a relatively nascent stage, it did manage to send Indian luger Shiva Keshavan to the 2014 Winter Olympics at Sochi. Keshavan was the first Indian sportsperson to try his hand at crowdfunding and his success has inspired many more to take this route. With various platforms like BitGiving.com, Milaap.org, Ketto.org and Wishberry.in coming forward to support these campaigns, besides the omnipresent social media, the players now have no dearth of methods for reaching out to potential supporters.
Among the main supporters for the Indian Ice Hockey team is Anand Mahindra, Chairman and Managing Director of the Mahindra Group who even tweeted about supporting the team. Also, IHAI has been approached by the Gautam Gambhir Foundation and has landed a sponsorship deal with Micromax India, who have agreed to sponsor the team’s jersey.
Here is the sequence of tweets that led to Anand Mahindra coming on board: