Did you know that Brampton was the site of a top secret video shoot involving hockey, Sidney Crosby and a very special hockey team from Kenya?
If you weren’t aware, now you know!
Tim Hortons recently announced that, in Kenya, there is only one ice hockey team–and they have nobody to play against.
Every Wednesday and Sunday, the Kenya Ice Lions take to the first-ever ice rink in East and Central Africa: a 1,400-square-metre rink at the Panari Sky Center Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya.
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Obviously, rinks are in no short supply in Canada, so Tim Hortons decided to take the team to the CAA Centre in Brampton to get in some ice team and meet one of the world’s most beloved players.
“In Canada – and as a company – Hockey is part of our DNA,” says Jorge Zaidan, head of marketing, Tim Hortons Canada. “We are so inspired by the story of the Lions. Despite having no other teams to play against, the players on the Kenya Ice Lions’ passion for the game is unwavering. Their shared passion and love of the game knows no borders.”
Tim Hortons flew 12 members of the senior Ice Lions team to Canada to have the opportunity to finally play their first game ever against another team. After dressing in brand new CCM hockey equipment and personalized jerseys, they discovered that Sidney Crosby and Nathan MacKinnon were joining them on the ice as teammates.
You can see a video of the encounter–which prompted some tears and a lot of hugs–below:
“I was honoured to be able to join the Ice Lions as they played their first game against another team,” said Crosby, captain of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins. “One of the things I love about hockey is how it’s able to reach so many people from so many countries around the world and bring them together.”
MacKinnon also weighed in on the experience.
“While we played alongside the Ice Lions for their first game, we know it won’t be their last,” said the Colorado Avalanche star. “The team’s genuine passion and excitement for hockey is contagious – they were amazing teammates and it was great to play with them.”
If you’re wondering why you never know that the CAA Centre was hosting such an event, it might have had something to do with the top secret nature of the shoot.
“It was done the week of August 13, 2018,” says Mike Hardcastle, general manager, CAA Centre. “When Sidney Crosby and Nathan MacKinnon came in, their vehicles drove them right into the facility.”
The captain of the Ice Lions was, naturally, overjoyed by the experience.
“It is a dream to not only have the chance to play in Canada, but to play – for the first time – in full gear alongside two of the greatest players of the game,” says Benard Azegere, captain of the Kenya Ice Lions.” When we first started playing in Kenya, we didn’t even have full equipment, but now not only do we have that, we can say we’ve played a real game with some All-Star teammates.”
Tim Hortons made a donation to Kenya’s Youth Hockey League.
The video was produced by creative agency Zulu Alpha Kilo, based in Toronto, Ontario.