WJC Playmakers: Robin Dhir
The strategic advisor with Fasken talks about working with the Playmakers group, making the World Juniors a province-wide event and connecting with the South Asian community
Jessica Gowans
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April 25, 2018
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Leading in to the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship the host committee has formed the Playmakers group, bringing together business leaders from across B.C. to serve as event ambassadors and strategic advisors, as well as serving as a connection to local partners and businesses in Vancouver and Victoria.

The Playmakers will help share the message from Hockey Canada and the host committee, and support initiatives around community engagement and the benefits of hosting the World Juniors in their backyard.

This month, HockeyCanada.ca sat down with Robin Dhir, a strategic advisor with Fasken Martineau DuMoulin.

Q: Why is it important for you to be involved in the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship?

RD: I’m not a ‘hockey dad,’ if you will, but I do find that the sport – any sport – is great for building up kids’ abilities, and their morals and teamwork, and all that kind of stuff. I do find that these kinds of activities are a great community-building exercises, as well. For me I think it’s important that kids get that opportunity to interact and mingle with players that they normally wouldn’t play with perhaps, of a different calibre, [from] different backgrounds. I just think that makes them citizens as they grow up.

Q: Why are Vancouver and Victoria the right cities to host the World Juniors?

RD: If you look at how ticket sales have been going so far, Victoria is outselling Vancouver, so there’s obviously an appetite for the sport, there’s an appetite for this particular event. I think when we talk about doing a B.C. event, it is important to get outside of just Metro Vancouver. The fact that we do have government support and other community support, it’s important to show that this isn’t just a Metro Vancouver event, but it’s a B.C. event.

Q: How will the World Juniors encourage youth to get involved in activities surrounding the WJC?

RD: Like any event that happens, whether it’s an Expo, or an Olympics, or any type of big event, I think it is incumbent upon the organizers to create some form of legacy that comes from it as well, so there’s not just the immediate impact, but the ongoing impact. I think there’s an opportunity here in British Columbia, where we do have a lot of new Canadians, of introducing the sport. And it may not be ice hockey, per se, but it will be hockey in general. There may be some from countries where ice hockey is not prevalent, or they haven’t learned to skate, but they can still learn to play and have a love for Canada’s sport. I think it will be exciting and important to embrace all cultures, all age groups, families and communities into this particular event.

One of the focuses I’d like to have is encouraging more people within the South Asian community. They’re already getting quite active, we’ve had a few NHL players, we have a number of people who are going through the system. I think there’s that opportunity as well or making that sport even more top of mind, and more part of people’s families.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish with the Playmakers group?

RD: Obviously, making this a success from an economic standpoint – that is important. But beyond that, every event and every tournament should leave a legacy that people remember it by. We just need to figure out what it is that this event will actually do in terms of the lasting legacy. I think there is a huge opportunity, and I’m encouraged by the calibre of people that are involved, and the expertise that’s behind it. I’m just hoping to be part of that plan, and part of that group. Like I said, one of the key things that I’d like to do as my role is really outreach into the South Asian community to help make this event their own as well.

Q: What is your connection with hockey?

RD: My connection is general to community and events; I sit on quite a list of boards. Really, it’s what my parents taught us growing up – and obviously being first-generation Canadians – is that this country has been really good to us, and it’s got great things to offer, and we also need to give back and make sure that everyone gets a chance to enjoy in that success.

For more information:

Lisa Dornan
Director, Communications
Hockey Canada
403-777-4557 / 403-510-7046 (mobile)
ldornan@hockeycanada.ca

 

Esther Madziya
Coordinator, Media Relations
Hockey Canada
403-284-6484
emadziya@hockeycanada.ca

 

Spencer Sharkey
Coordinator, Communications
Hockey Canada
403-777-4567 / 905-906-5327 (mobile)
ssharkey@hockeycanada.ca

 

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