Hong Kong's ice-hockey fans are celebrating the launch of a new youth league that has the backing of a major sponsor. For more than 100 local and expatriate skaters aged seven to 14, the new Sunday Night Hockey League (SNHL) will sharpen their puck skills and bring some competitive fire to the ice over the next six months. The league, formerly known as the Hong Kong Minor Hockey League, is for boys and girls and is organised by Asiasports. The first round of matches were played at Festival Walk ice rink in Kowloon Tong on October 20, and rounds will continue to be held there and at the Dragon Centre rink in Sham Shui Po until the end of next March. Ten teams have been divided into three categories, with four teams each in the'Squirts' (9-11 age-group division) and the 'PeeWees' (12-14), while two teams will battle it out in the 'Mini-Squirt' (8 and under) division. Each team has two qualified coaches, and a Cantonese speaking assistant. Charlotte Fowlow, 9, plays in the Jebsen team in the Squirts division, coached by her father Jim Fowlow. 'To be a good hockey player you have to be a fast skater and try and get the puck from the other team,' said Charlotte at a junior hockey demo and introduction of the league to the media at Festival Walk on Monday. 'Its a lot of fun, but to score you must be strong,' said Sherlock Tam, 10, who netted twice for the Wellcome team as they beat Jebsen 7-3 in the opening Squirts contest last Sunday at the Dragon Centre. The money gained from a sponsorship deal with mobile phone company SUNDAY will go towards toward the significant cost of hiring rinks, buying jerseys for teams, administration of the league and a big end-of-season party. A short-messaging-service has been set up by SUNDAY which allows players and fans who use the network to access schedules, statistics and results. 'Hockey is the coolest game on earth,' said SUNDAY group managing director Bruce Hicks, a Canadian who has played the game in Hong Kong for 15 years and whose son Reeve, 13, and daughter Drake, 11, will be playing play in the SNHL. 'The sport will continue to grow here. One day we will look back at this period and the SNHL and say: 'wasn't it a great start of things',' added Hicks who will coach the SUNDAY team his son plays in. The next round of matches is scheduled for Sunday, November 10 at the Dragon Centre. For more information about the SNHL, go to www.hockeynightinasia.com or call Tom Barnes of Asiasports on 2521 9922.