As reported via the official Twitter account of HC Kunlun Red Star, Wayne Gretzky has been named a global ambassador for Beijing’s team in the KHL with a long-term agreement.
Wayne Gretzky is our new Global Ambassador! The Kunlun Red Star announced today that the hockey legend will assist in promoting the game of ice hockey in China. #krs #redstarhockey pic.twitter.com/hOZ5brsEYN
— Kunlun Red Star (@KRSchina) August 8, 2018
Wayne Gretzky commits to helping China grow the game of hockey
Wayne Gretzky will help in promoting the game of ice hockey in China. Also, the Kunlun Red Star announced the opening of the KRS-Gretzky Hockey School.
The school will provide young players with a top level of hockey training. Initially, there will be two locations which will host the branches of the KRS-Gretzky Hockey School. This September, the schools are opening in Shenzhen and Beijing. Overall, there are plans to expand the program to at least 20 locations across the country. The aim is that this will happen over the next five years.
The official China Daily newspaper quoted Red Star’s Executive Director Ao Meng as saying Gretzky’s involvement would be a “tremendous boost.”
“To now have him part of the growth of hockey in China in the buildup to the 2022 Winter Olympics will promote interest and participation in the sport, especially among young people,” Ao said.
As winter sports participation in China is still in a relatively premature state, the country aims to boost hockey by bringing in NHL celebrities.
Earlier this year Alex Kovalev was named an assistant coach of the Red Stars.
NHL In China
As in the previous year, the National Hockey League will hold promotional pre-season games in China. The Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames will face off in Shenzhen on September 15th and in Beijing on September 19th. Gretzky is also visiting Beijing and Shenzhen around these dates.
Wayne Gretzky played 20 seasons in the National Hockey League for the Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues, and New York Rangers. He won four Stanley Cups and a record nine Hart Trophies as a league MVP. The Legend established more than 60 records during his career. Which made him the all-time leading scorer in the National Hockey League.
Main Photo: TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 27: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and hockey icon Wayne Gretzky unveil the League’s Centennial celebration plans for 2017 during a press conference at the World Cup of Hockey 2016 at Air Canada Centre on September 27, 2016, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)