Ibrahim Bornibyouk, from Simple Hockey Fan to International Referee!

13 Mar. 2017 – While basketball, football, futsal, ski and such sports take the lion’s share of fans in Lebanon, other activities such as Ice Hockey have quickly been forgotten. Ibrahim Bornibyouk, is one of those people who are passionate about ice hockey and who were there since its beginnings.

When the ice skating arena first opened in 1997 in Zouk, Ibrahim was one of the main activists who was driven to make it work up until its closure. That’s when his journey in Lebanon ended. He indeed traveled around the Arab world, helping open arenas in Syria, Qatar, UAE in order to spread the sport’s culture.

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Finally, his last stop was in UAE where he helped build junior teams while consistently traveling to Europe and other destinations in order to get Ice Hockey certificates. Following that, he started playing games in the Abu Dhabi Hockey League. He was given the chance to be one of the officials of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). In 2015 he got licenses and he is the first Lebanese under the IIHF. In 2016 he was an official in the Challenge Cup of Asia in which UAE ended up 2nd.

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Now, he travels with the teams as he’s responsible for equipment. He’s currently in Thailand for the Challenge Cup of Asia for Women. He will be staying in Thailand after this tournament to be an official in the Challenge Cup of Asia for Men division A, for the second time.

With this sport on the rise in the region, Lebanese people should seize the opportunity to take part in it and become one of the best. We already have some athletes who are very young and talented, not only in Ice Hockey but in skating in general, such as Thea Abou Diwan who is a young figure skater.

Let’s not wait until it is too late!