Under the patronage of the Egyptian Ministry of Youth and Sports, the sports tourism division of the ministry, in partnership with the Egyptian National Olympic Committee (ENOC) and the Friendship League of Canada, will organize its first-ever international hockey tournament. after the country’s success at the Tokyo Olympics. The Ministry and ENOC set their sights on winter sports after Feryal Abdelaziz’s gold medal in Karate just a month ago.
The Egypt Ice Hockey Experience 2021 (EIHE 2021) will be held in partnership with the Friendship League of Canada, an organization that promotes intercultural engagement between distant countries through sport. Participating organizers, Egypt Ice Hockey and Egypt Winter Sports, have actively tried to bring Egypt onto the international winter sports scene. Since 2016, Egypt Ice Hockey has participated in ice hockey matches in Morocco, Canada, United States, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. Their quest to establish an official winter sports federation was covered by all the major international media.
The co-founder and CEO of Ibis, co-organizers of the event for EIHE 2021, Nancy Abdelhadi, said: “Egyptian ice hockey and all of us were very excited when Scott Howe of the Canadian organization the League Friendship ”revealed that they were interested in hosting their next tournament here in Egypt. The idea of promoting Egypt as an ideal destination for sports tourism, youth tourism and hosting international sporting events fits exactly with our mission. We have dedicated ourselves to the promotion of winter sports in Egypt and we are confident that our dream of seeing the Egyptian flag waved at the Winter Olympics will soon be a reality.
This tournament will also be an opportunity for Egypt to show once again why it is a unique destination for hosting major summer and winter sporting events. The 2019 African Cup of Nations (CAN) was just the last successful international competition to take place in the country’s stadiums. While the country’s football infrastructure is world famous, there is an urgent need for a full-size ice rink in the country and across Africa.
The EIHE 2021 will be held from October 24 to 26, 2021, in Cairo. Egypt Ice Hockey will enter teams that showcase the talent of local players as well as expatriates and national doubles. To show their support for an official winter sports federation, Olympic hopeful athletes including skier Ahmed Fayed and snowboarder Khaled El Shebokshy will be in attendance for the 3-day ice hockey event.
Despite Egypt’s rich summer sports history, Egypt only competed once in the 1984 Winter Olympics in the Sarajevo Winter Olympics. That year, 49 nations and 1,272 athletes took part in 39 different sporting events. Athlete Jamil El Reedy, an American Egyptian, competed in three different disciplines of alpine skiing, without winning any medals.
The “Friendship League” is an organization that harnesses the power of sports tourism to foster true intercultural engagement between otherwise remote communities and to support the growth of unique sports communities around the world. Past events have taken place in Kenya, Turkmenistan, North Korea, Costa Rica, China and Turkey, with the organization planning several new destinations for 2022.