Kenya's only ice hockey team dare to dream of skating glory

FILE PHOTO: The Kenya national ice hockey team pose for a group photograph after a friendly tournament against the Chicago Cheetah team from the U.S. at the Panari Ice Skating Rink in Nairobi, Kenya, January 7, 2023. REUTERS/Monicah Mwangi

KIKUYU, Kenya (Reuters) - Kenya may only have one skating rink and next to no coaches, but that has not stopped 28-year-old Benjamin Mburu from following his dream of ice hockey glory.

His team, the Kenya Ice Lions, hone their skills at Nairobi's Panari Hotel.

When they can't get in there, they take to the roof-tops and train in roller-blades to make up for a lack of "ice time".

As the only side in the country, they usually organise games between themselves.

"One day a few of my friends invited me to go and play ice hockey and that was the beginning of this beautiful journey," Mburu, an architect, said from his hometown of Kikuyu, 20 km (12 miles) northwest of Nairobi.

Eventually, Mburu hopes Kenya will join the International Ice Hockey Federation.

The Ice Lions have already played friendly matches against teams from the United States and Canada.

They watch online tutorials and get lessons from volunteering expatriate coaches. They are hungry to succeed, head coach Tim Colby said.

(Reporting by Jeff Kahinju; Writing by Bhargav Acharya; Editing by Alexander Winning and Ben Dangerfield)

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