The IBCPC President and Vice President conducted a fact-finding outreach clinic to Cairo, Egypt in November 2019. Many wonderful conversations took place and meetings were held with the Baheya Cancer Foundation to look at how to establish teams while ensuring their breast cancer “fighters” were kept safe. At the time there was much discussion in Egypt about who would be the official dragon boat representatives in the country. The article below was published to commemorate the establishment of the Egyptian Dragon Boat Federation. Meri and Lucia were really grateful to have met and worked with Mary and Ehab when they visited Egypt in November 2019. They saw the wonderful paddling facility on the River Nile and know that the founders will be working hard to support the growth of breast cancer survivor teams in their country.
Egyptian officials announced the founding of the Egyptian Dragon Boat Federation (EgyDBF) at a boat club in a hotel in Cairo overlooking the Nile River.
In February, the country's Ministry of Youth and Sports approved the founding of the EgyDBF before it was recognized by the International Dragon Boat Federation on March 5.
"Sports is a soft power that can bring nations together," EgyDBF chief Nader Roshdy said
Chinese Ambassador to Egypt Liao Liqiang sent congratulations in a statement that was read at the launching ceremony of EgyDBF. "As we celebrate today the official recognition of dragon boat in Egypt, we celebrate at the same time the communication and integration between the two cultures," said Liao.
Mike Thomas, president of the International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF), sent his congratulations as well as expectations for Egypt to contribute to promoting dragon boat racing in Africa and the Arab world.
Five years ago, Ehab Gouda, head of the Egyptian Friendship Association, introduced the sport to the country. Not only did he and his wife, Mary Lai from Hong Kong, co-found a dragon boat academy in Egypt, Gouda has also organized various local and international dragon boat festivals in Egypt since 2016. Gouda, who mastered dragon boat racing in Guangzhou and Hong Kong, actually achieved a Grade. 1 – International Race Officials Certificate in 2019 and is currently an IDBF representative.
"Founding the EgyDBF was a dream that has come true," said Gouda. He hopes that dragon boat racing can become a "bridge" between China and Egypt and attract more Chinese tourists to his country.