Participants in the Friendship League’s hockey tour of Japan

By National Teams of Ice Hockey

The collaboration between the African ice hockey players and the Friendship League exemplifies the power of sports in bringing people together and breaking down barriers. By promoting inclusivity and diversity within the world of ice hockey, initiatives like this tour help to create a more interconnected and understanding global community. Through continued efforts to support and develop the sport internationally, the Friendship League is making a positive impact on the lives of players and fans alike.

While ice hockey may not have the same level of popularity as other sports in Africa, there are efforts being made to introduce and develop the sport in the region. The small but determined group of players involved in ice hockey are playing a crucial role in raising awareness and building a community around the sport on the continent. Their dedication and hard work are helping to pave the way for the growth of ice hockey in Africa.

Recently, a group of players from Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, South Africa, and Kenya embarked on a tour of Japan to enhance their skills and gain valuable in-game experience. This opportunity was particularly significant as it is often challenging for these players to acquire such experiences in their home countries. The tour was made possible through the collaboration of the Friendship League and the Tokyo Canadians, a well-established community of expatriates in Japan who have brought their passion for the game to the Japanese capital. The Friendship League, founded in 2016, is an organization that utilizes the power of sports to promote cross-cultural engagement and tourism.

The Friendship League has organized hockey events in various countries across the globe, including Ecuador, Egypt, and North Korea. Now, Japan has been included in the list of countries where the Friendship League has successfully staged hockey events. This expansion of the league’s reach to Japan further demonstrates its commitment to fostering international connections and promoting unity through the universal language of sports.

A group of six African players recently participated in a tour of Japan, which included two games held at the DyDo Drinco Ice Arena, previously known as the Higashi-Fushimi Ice Arena, located on the outskirts of Tokyo.

Benjamin Mburu and Faith Sihoho were the representatives from Kenya within the group of six. The other members were Harond Litim, who came from Algeria, Mahmoud Ghonaim from Egypt, Charles Balha from Morocco, and Nadja Giessen-Hood from South Africa.

It was a momentous occasion for Sihoho as she ventured beyond the borders of Africa for the very first time, opening up a world of new experiences and opportunities. Meanwhile, Mburu’s name became known to many after his participation in the 2018 visit to Canada as part of the Kenyan national team, where he had the privilege of meeting and sharing the ice with the legendary NHL figure, Sidney Crosby.