When we think of Lebanese people in sports, we mostly think of basketball or football as these sports are the most popular ones in Lebanon. Little did we know that Lebanese people are involved in hockey, too!
In Canada, there’s a hockey team whose Lebanese members are rocking red and white shirts with the cedar printed on them! If you do not know about this team, don’t worry, it’s a new one!
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The first thing you need to know about the team is that it’s called Hockey Lebanon.
The team’s colors are red and white. Also, it won its first game which was against Haiti. The scores were 7-4!
So, how did everything start?
The coach of the team Ralph Melki said that the founder of the team asked him to be the coach and he said yes! As a Lebanese –Canadian, he really wanted to introduce Lebanon to hockey.
However, he mentioned that it is not easy to start the culture of hockey in Lebanon since there isn’t an arena where players can train and play. For that reason, Hockey Lebanon is based in Canada.
The players come from all parts of Canada: Toronto, Calgary, Ottawa, and Montreal.
This Lebanese hockey team hopes to be well-recognized in Lebanon and that the Lebanese government recognizes the sport in order to join the Olympic Federation.
The goal of this team is to promote hockey in Lebanon. It’s a big challenge since it requires building a rink and creating at least 5 teams.
However, as much as it would be financially hard, it would allow Lebanon to be part of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) and take part in international tournaments.
How can you follow the birth of Lebanese hockey?
Lucky for us, a Lebanese-Canadian YouTuber is documenting the journey by uploading vlogs on his YouTube channel! Follow the team’s journey on Facebook!