Tokyo Canadians Hockey Club Scores Goals in Charity and Cross-Cultural Unity

About Us

Tokyo Canadians Hockey Club (TCHC) is an amateur independent hockey team made up of Canadians, Americans and Japanese nationals. The team was founded in 1995 with the idea of providing an opportunity for foreigners and native Japanese to come together and play a common game: ice hockey. The team travels throughout the year domestically in Japan and internationally to neighboring Asian countries for games and exhibitions.

TCHC also participates in domestic Japanese and international charities. Within Japan, TCHC has participated in, and donated to, the Terry Fox Run/Run for Hope. After the Great East Japan Earthquake, the TCHC was actively involved in volunteering, donating to and working with charities in the Tohoku region for many years.

TCHC directly supports Father Joe’s Mercy Centre in Bangkok, Thailand. For over eight years the Canadians been sponsored a child, Lek, from the orphanage. With TCHC’s help, Lek was able to complete her schooling in Bangkok in 2011 and then attended a UN university in Norway.

In recent years, Lek, now a young woman, returned to Bangkok and was working for the Mercy Centre, where she spent time as a youth, now giving back to her community.

Every year while in Bangkok for an international hockey tournament, TCHC members visit the orphanage and many of the children attend TCHC games to cheer on the team.

Other initiatives include:

  • Two Club members served as Nadia executives, an NPO offering on-the-ground relief in Tohoku;
  • Raised more than JPY 1M in direct donations and regular trips to the affected areas by club members, including relief efforts in the Ishinomaki area and work through the Canadian Embassy at Otsuchi;
  • Hosted a charity game with HMCS Ottawa, which raised $7,000 CDN;
  • Hosted a Smile & Dream charity hockey weekend in Yokohama during which TCHC brought a children’s hockey team from Ishinomaki to Yokohama. Other activities included an awards banquet and a tour of Yokohama for the Ishinomaki families. TCHC was able to work with friends and families to provide funds, equipment, and athletic clothing for the children.

The Tokyo Canadians also host fund raising events and parties, with partial proceeds going to support charities such as the Father Joe Maier’s Human Development Center in Bangkok, Thailand and any current domestic emergency.

TOKYO
EST.1995
Canadians
Tokyo Canadians Logo

In the beginning…

History of the Team

In 1991 and 1992 current Tokyo Canadians Brent Carlson and Mike LaRose along with alumnus John Richmond, joined a rag tag group of hockey playing Tokyoites who banded together to go to Seoul, Korea to play in a tournament. The Tokyo team won both tournaments and after returning to Tokyo on both occasions they thought it would be great to get a Canadian team together in Tokyo on a more regular/formal basis.

At the time LaRose was still in university playing hockey for the Toyo University varsity team while Richmond and Carlson were toiling for different teams in the Tokyo Men’s League.

Nothing really happened until…

…a sweltering 36C weekend at the end of July 1995, the Tokyo Canadians Hockey Club was formed and, with select members of the Tokyo Canadian Club, a social club for Canadians and friends of Canada living in Tokyo, went on the road to an Ikaho onsen in Gunma-ken.

Then TCC President Connie Kaneko and former Canadian Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Neil Moody, a founding TCHC member, persuaded some hockey ‘has-beens’ to take up the invitation of the Gunma Seals Hockey Club’s Masami Ueki, and off we went to enjoy the soothing baths and the seething competition.

Group camaraderie was the strong suit from the moment they departed Ueno station, with everyone getting acquainted over lunch and afternoon pleasure skating. Before starting the first game, they had to chase away the fog gathering on the ice at Ikaho’s mountain-top sports complex. On the sidelines, the Canadian Embassy’s own John Tennant led an assorted group of Canadian and Japanese ‘friendlies’ in some spirited vocalizing while on-ice leadership was provided by Gord “Howe Elbows” Kask and Nathan “the Saskatchewan Streak” McLeod. In the end, the Canadians prevailed 11-7, and then it was back to the ryokan for some real fun.

The Canadians skinned the Seals 10-0 the following morning to repay them for their gracious hospitality.

Soon after the Tokyo Canadians Hockey Club was formed in the living room of Neil Moody’s home. A constitution was created, jerseys were ordered and the team went to their first tournament in Hong Kong a few months later. Many great tournaments followed, many players have come and gone, much fun was had.

A second generation of Tokyo Canadians has arrived, some of whom are the sons of the founding members who formed the team in 1995.