Egypt Ice Hockey team hosted their second Egypt Ice Hockey Cares (EIH Cares) event on Monday, October 25, 2021, at a small mall ice rink in Nasr City, Cairo with the help of Canada’s the Friendship League and several sponsors including Cerebrus, Egypt’s Rotary District 2451, and several other community & private sector sponsors.
The EIH Cares event was held on the second day of the Egypt Ice Hockey Experience (EIHE) event which was the first ever major international Ice Hockey Sports Event in Egypt’s history involving several friendly tournaments between 3 Egyptian and 3 foreign teams made up of players from Canada, US, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, UK, and Japan.
EIHE was held under the Patronage of the Ministry of Youth & Sports, the Division of Sports Tourism and in partnership with the Egyptian Tourism Promotion Authority, Egyptian National Olympic Committee (ENOC) and Canada’s Friendship League, from October 24-26, 2021.
During this year’s EIH Cares event, over 45 girls and boys from Asmarat Heights Affordable Housing Community, Muwahadeen Orphanage and children of short stature were invited by Egypt Ice Hockey to participate in a fun-filled day of ice skating, races, and ice hockey lessons. The main theme of the event was, “Ice Hockey is a sport that can be enjoyed by all”.
The children also heard from Dr. Hany Fikry, a top pediatrician and Rotarian who spoke to them about the importance of Vitamin D and health and strong bones.
This was Haitham and Hany from Muwanadeen Orphanage’s first time on ice but after a few minor falls they were all gliding through the ice like expert skaters.
Also Basmella, a young lady of short stature and a champion in Karate and swimming, had never been on ice but was skating like a champ and enjoyed demonstrating her ice hockey skills that several of the foreign Ice hockey players from the Friendship league and the Egypt Ice Hockey team had shown her.
Egypt does NOT currently have any winter sports federations or a national Ice Hockey team, nonetheless Egypt Ice Hockey team has participated in several international ice hockey matches in Morocco, Canada, US, UAE, and Kuwait since 2016.
One of Egypt Ice Hockey’s main objectives is to establish an official winter sports federation, to ensure that Egyptian athletes and teams will participate in international sports events and the Winter Olympics. This mission has gotten the attention of top international media outlets including Reuters and ESPN.
Nancy Abdelhadi, CEO of IBIS, event organizers for EIHE & the EIH Cares event, said “this event was one of the highlights of Egypt Ice Hockey Experience because it gave us an opportunity to introduce ice hockey and winter sports to so many Egyptian children who are normally excluded from such big events. We sent a clear message that sports can be enjoyed by everyone regardless of their social or economic status or physical abilities. We sent a clear message that winter sports and ice hockey is for all.”
Abdelhadi went on to say, “one of our goals was to introduce ice hockey to Egyptians and to give them a glimpse into what the future could look like, once we establish an ice hockey federation, have a national team, a proper ice rink and participate in the Winter Olympics. Sheref Elbassiouny, part of the Egypt Ice Hockey management team said, “Like football, ice hockey is a contact sport, involving 2 teams and 2 nets. For this reason, we are hoping that this event will raise the interest of Egyptians and will encourage them to play the sport.”
Leading public, private, academic, and non-profit institutions have partnered to ensure the success of this event including Egypt’s Rotary District 2451, the Egyptian Red Crescent, Pharco, BTC, Qruz, Precipio, Cerebrus, Elmasria Auto, Universities of Canada etc.