DRAGON BOATING AT THE RIVER NILE WE BELIEVE. NEVER GIVE UP!

E H A B G O U D A A N D M A R Y L A I , E G Y P T D R A G O N B O A T F E D E R A T I O N

The meeting of two ancient civilizations
More than just a character in Chinese folklore, Qu Yuan is an important part
of dragon boat culture and its festival traditions. The legend still lives in
today’s modern dragon boat racing.
Without the Nile, Egypt may never have become one of the most
extraordinary civilizations in history. This great river is a physical, political
and spiritual presence in ancient Egyptian culture. "Egypt is a gift of the Nile",
the ancient Egyptians thought that the Nile is a gift from the gods. The
Egyptian calendar was based on the three seasons of the Nile: the flood,
agriculture, and harvest.
According to current studies, its river systems are made up of the Blue Nile
and the White Nile and its drainage basin crosses Uganda, Tanzania,
Ethiopia, Rwanda, South Sudan, Eritrea, the Democratic Republic of the
Congo, Burundi, Kenya, Sudan, and, of course, Egypt. Its discharge is 2.8
kilometers wide and its basin area is 3.4 million square kilometers.
Bringing the sport of dragon boating to the River Nile is a merge of two
ancient civilizations together to form a strong bond – the power of the
dragon at the River Nile!
With our strong passion, we made it happen! The First Dragon Boat Festival
at the River Nile in Cairo, Egypt was held on October 1st, 2016 under the
patronage of the Cairo Governorate.

Development of dragon boating in Egypt

Dragon boat racing is the world’s fastest growing team water sport activity today. Over 6,000,000 people world-wide participate in dragon boat festivals. Participants can be as old as 85 or as young as 12 to participate in dragon boating.
We believe that this sport can make an impact in the African region. Ehab Gouda is the first Egyptian who learned dragon boating in Hong Kong and Foshan, China. Much credit went to the support and advice from the International Dragon Boat Federation, Mr. Mike Thomas and Mr. Alan Van Caubergh. Both of them contributed their time and experiences for guiding the establishment of Dragon Boat Egypt. Alan attended our 1st Dragon Boat Festival at the River Nile in October 2016. In 2018, Mike came to Egypt and conducted a national coach and race officials training.
Our dear friends from Hong Kong, Mr. Alson Wong and Mr. Edwin Hou from Stanley Dragon Boat Association also came to Egypt in April 2016 to help us to prepare our first event at the River Nile. They gave us their time and contributed towards the development of Dragon Boat Egypt with their experience and
advice.
In August 2016, we went to Hong Kong so Ehab could get more dragon boat training and experience in Stanley. We also travelled to China and met with different dragon boat teams to learn more about the sport and further our knowledge for the strategic development of dragon boating in Egypt.

Awakening of the dragon

October 2016 – our first Dragon Boat Festival was held with a team from Foshan and Hong Kong who came to support us
December 2016 – the Dragon Boat Egypt academy was established
2017 - 2019 – around 3 events were organized each year
February 2019 – Egypt’s first International Dragon Boat Festival was held with over 250 paddlers from all over the world
No races in 2020 due to Covid-19

 

With all these high profile activities, it drew the attention and envy from the Canoe and Kayak Federation in Egypt. In 2018, they started to make much troubles and obstacles in stopping our events, claiming that they are the governing body for dragon boat! They were trying in many ways to stop us from establishing the Egyptian Dragon Boat Federation. In February of 2021, finally the Minister of Youth and Sports approved the establishment of the Egyptian Dragon Boat Federation through us. Although it is still an ongoing battle with the Canoe and Kayak Federation, we kept moving forward against the strong tide! We will never give up! With our clear vision, we made it happen! The First Press Conference for the Egyptian Dragon Boat Federation was successfully held on March 13, 2021.