NAIROBI — The first and simplest ice hockey team in Kenya maintains to defy the odds by way of gambling and practicing the sport in one of the few ice rinks discovered throughout Eastern and Central Africa. This pioneer group is now inspiring a brand new technology of ice hockey players who desire to extend the sport in Kenya. Training classes are held at least three times a week at this ice rink in Nairobi. It is here at Kenya’s solar-powered Panari Sky Center that the Kenya Ice Lions, the first ice hockey group in Kenya, became born. Tim Colby moved to Nairobi from Ottawa in 2010 to paintings for the Canadian Embassy. Several months later, he could assist teach and teach Kenya’s first ice hockey team. “A few years ago, a few Kenyans wanted to take it up. Step it up a notch, play a lot greater severely and get into real hockey games,” Colby said. “So, we took it up with some other Americans, Canadians, Slovaks, Swedes and others. We commenced helping out a chunk, however soon it failed to take time for the Kenyans to take off through themselves.” The Ice Lions have never had any other team to play. In 2018, the Canadian eating place chain Tim Horton’s flew 12 of them to Toronto to play their first real game, a friendly against a group of firefighters.
Eighteen-yr-old Gideon Mutua become a part of the team. Mutua, who commenced out as a speed and curler skater in 2012, says ice hockey changed his lifestyles for all time. “My biggest dream is to play inside the NHL, whereby you receives a commission just to play. And one day, I assume my dream may be fulfilled,” Mutua Youthful gamers like Mutua are in which the destiny of Kenyan hockey lies, says Robert Opiyo, one of the Ice Lions pioneer team contributors. “Most of us we are quite senior, however the future really lies with the kids. This is in which most of the time, the strength and attempt are being invested in. For us we’re simply taking in all of the ache, the hardships, the trials with the intention to have it lots extra simpler,” Opiyo stated. Tim Colby believes there is a destiny for ice hockey in Kenya, even though the united states sits at the equator. “What’s really crucial for the game here is that we’ve got children playing, young ladies, younger boys, so more and more we have become. This was once approximately 10, 12 Kenyans playing. Now we’re approximately 30, as a minimum half of of them are young. When I say younger, I suggest under 15, that is honestly precise for the sport within the destiny,” Colby Ali Baba from China and Tim Horton’s have given sponsorship and equipment to the crew. Support for the group has also come from Finland, Sweden and Czechoslovakia. There are plans to herald groups from Tunisia, Egypt and South Africa in July for a event. The groups will play for a new trophy — the Africa Cup.