The rink was officially opened on July 2016 at Panari Hotel off Mombasa Road. Destined to be the best indoor rink in East and Central Africa offering international guests the opportunity to be able to experience the Nairobi National Park mere hours after a session on the all season rink.
The Fore Fathers (2006-2014)
Led by Andrew Gremley, the first game was played on the Solar Ice Rink by a number of expatriates who organized the first friendly game against the local skaters. Given the number of Kenyans was low, numbers were balanced in the game between the visiting team dubbed The “Winnipeg Jets” vs The “Kenya Hockey Team.
The first Kenyan Team (Ali Kilanga, Kevin Magina, Omari Ali) wore the original jersey designed by Bruce Strachan and is available in very limited numbers.
IN THE BEGINNING (2006)
Considered as the first All African Born and Raised team, we are working towards the dream that one day, the team will be able to represent itself not only in the Winter Olympics but also become officially recognised as a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation. This is our history…
The Bruce Jersey Era (2014-2016)
During this era, only 5 jersey’s were printed and designed by Bruce. This was an improvement of the kikoi version as it was more refined towards current hockey jersey designs.
The jersey’s available are Azegere(1), Kilanga (2), Gremley (5), Magina (). The jersey’s story was featured in this link and a few versions with certificates of authenticity signed by Bruce Strachan.
The first Mashujaa Day game was played on 10th October 2016 as a homage to the Stanley Cup.
2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics Sponsored by AliBaba (SA Jersey)
Having heard of the dream of being in the Winter Olympic games, several people came forward offering support to the team in various forms ranging from hockey gear to training. One of the voices which came through was the Alibaba Group, inspired by The Great Big Story.
In December 2017, 5 players were picked to shoot the Kenyans Dream Big Ad for the Winter Olympics. In addition to this, they experienced a few days in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea where Alibaba and The International Olympics Committee pledged to support the team in their dream to the games.
2018 Canadian Ice Hockey Experience Sponsored by Tim Hortons (Canadian Jersey)
Tim Hortons, CCM and Zulu Kilo Alpha also came through to support the team in August 2018 with the Canadian Ice Hockey experience. Through a documentary covering the story of 3 of the team members, the team got an opportunity to play in a full size hockey rink against a professional team with NHL’s Sidney Crosby Penguins) and Nathan Mackinon (Colorado Avalanche) on their side.
With the doors of support and opportunity opening up, the team rallied towards officially registering the team as the Kenya Ice Lions under the Kenya Ice Hockey League. The journey is not a simple one with several bumps in the road and working towards delivering the promise of making it to the 2022 Winter Olympics. Will we ever play in the Olympics? One day we will.