It was the first international ice hockey game ever played in Kenya. It was also historical because it was organized to call attention to the impact of Climate Change - in Kenya and around the world.
The widely publicized game is part of a UN Environment initiative to use sports to rally governments and common citizens in defense of our planet. Hockey games are being held in dozens of regions around the globe - and after the games the players tell the stories of climate change impacting their communities This project will culminate in the Last Game - the first and last hockey game every played at the North Pole. But yesterday it was Kenya’s turn in the spotlight in support of the UN Environment Assembly.
The Kenyan Ice Lions played a dramatic match against the LAST GAME All Stars - led by the Hall of Fame, World, Olympic, and Stanley Cup Champion - Slava Fetisov - UN patron for the Polar Regions.
The Last Game All-Stars won 10-9 in a shoot out. Fetisov scored the deciding goal. “Everyone is a winner “ said Ben Azegere, captain of the Ice Lions “because this helps us tell the story of how climate change is affecting the country and the world we love”
He led the visiting players, who came from a dozen nations - on a tour of the National Wildlife Park. He was on the verge of tears as described how unprecedented and destructive weather patters and human intrusion were decimating the lions - the mascot of his team - and the symbol of the soul of the Kenyan nation.
The Last Game has already visited Finland, in the Save Pond Hockey popular tournament, with the participation of Sauli Niinisto, President of Finland . Future Last Games are being scheduled from Abu Dhabi to Argentina - from New Orleans to New Zealand... and in New York - in September to coincide with the UN Secretary-General Climate Summit.