When a mother and a daughter share the same passion, the sky is literally their limit. That’s exactly how Ice Skate Egypt, the governing body for the sport of Figure Skating in Egypt, operating as a committee in the General Egyptian Federation of Sport for All (GEFSA), started. Founder of Ice Skate Egypt and PhD Pharmacist Heba Guirgis and her daughter Sophia share with us their story with figure skating in Egypt.
- What made you choose figure skating?
Heba: Growing up, I was always fascinated with figure skating. When I had my daughter, Sophia who is now 13, I dreamt of her being a figure skater. When she was three and a half years, she saw a child skating on TV and asked to do the same. I immediately took her to an ice rink and she has been skating since then.
- What were the challenges you faced in this field?
Heba: Egyptians don’t realize figure skating as a sport, let alone that it is a Winter Olympic Sport that has many disciplines for both men and ladies. We are now doing shows to showcase this sport and educate people. The first one was in July 2018 at Sun City Mall in front of 600 attendees. It was choreographed by Coach Monica Hale. The second one was by the group Little Stars on Ice, December 2018 in Soho Square Sharm El-Sheikh, titled ‘The World in My Eyes’ choreographed by Coach Nina Ulanova, former Junior Ice Dance World Champion.
Sophia: Balancing sport and school. Skating requires long daily training. This busy schedule involves studying in the car and working during recess. It is also physically demanding but is rewarding.
3. Do you think Egypt is open for this sport and will it have its audience?
Heba: Absolutely! Egyptians appreciate everything beautiful and original. Skating is a sport that combines art with athleticism. The jumps and spins are breathtaking, while the artistry and music interpretation are captivating.
4. Who inspires you the most ?
Sophia: My mom! I have always looked up to her as she has always believed in me. She has also been and will always be my inspiration academically. I hope to be like her someday.
5. What are your future projects?
Heba: To provide training to coaches at rinks in Egypt by a certified international coach, and to perform various activities to promote the sport and recruit talented skaters such as a summer day camp for kids, shows and competitions.
6. Is there anything else you would like to add ?
i would like to thank Major General Ahmed Nasser,the president of the Association of African Sports Confederations (AASC) and Egyptian Sports Supreme Advisor,and Dr.Emad El-Bannany,the president of GEFSA. Both are very instrumental in guiding us to introduce the first winter sport to Egypt.
Follow Ice Skate Egypt’s latest news on their website www.iceskateegypt.com
Facebook page: @Ice Skate Egypt