An Ice Hockey Journey


hockey drills

Today we had an interview with one of our closest collaborators on the Sunbears project, Takahito Suzuki – former professional ice hockey player, who served as the head coach of the Japanese National Team. Throughout his career he played for: ECHL, Japan Ice Hockey League, Asia League Ice Hockey, Seibu Prince Rabbits, and Nikkō Ice Bucks. Currently, he is the director and head coach of Toyo University Ice Hockey Club, who holds the 4th place in the Season Group League 2019.



Q: What motivated you to start playing ice hockey?

A: I grew up in the Northern part of Japan, in Hokkaido, where it is very cold. There, ice hockey is a major sport, unlike Tokyo. My childhood house was located nearby an ice rink, so my older brothers were often going there to play ice hockey. They have inspired me to start playing as well. Later on, when I moved to Tokyo, playing ice hockey allowed me to maintain a connection to the place I grew up.


Q: What do you like most about playing ice hockey?

A: The emotion. Ice hockey is a very emotional game, but also very physically demanding. The body contact, responsibilities as a team-member, all wrapped around the high speed at which everything is taking place require a lot of discipline, and managing to maintain your composure is challenging, but this is also what makes ice hockey so exciting.


Q: What is your goal as an ice hockey coach?

A: Helping Toyo University Ice Hockey Club reach 1st place among all university hockey teams in Japan is certainly a goal of mine, however my objectives are not limited to this. I care greatly for my team from an educational point of view. I would like to contribute to their self-development as much as I can. Winning is often a main aim in any competition, but learning what it takes to win, and even more, being a good person is more important than being a good player!


Our blog updates will focus on highlighting the experiences of young athletes – our main aim being to reveal the answer to your curiosities regarding the Japanese youth who are shaping the local and international sports scene.
Through this blog, we hope to encourage you to challenge and expand your current ideas, beliefs, and understanding regarding contemporary sports culture across the globe. We hope to bring about a sense of closeness and connect with each other, unconstrained by geographical boundaries!



Sunbears (2020) Features [online] available from 

Tokyo University Ice Hockey Club (2019) Toyo Ice Hockey Official Site [online] available from

Wikipedia (2019) Takahito Suzuki [online] available from


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