As part of Hockey is for Everyone Month, the Washington Capitals hosted Fatima Al Ali and the United Arab Emirates Women’s National Hockey Team at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Thursday. They got to watch the team practice in the morning before putting on their skates and holding their own practice on the Capitals rink. Madison Bowey, Chandler Stephenson, and Capitals legend Peter Bondra all joined the team and their coach on the ice for drills and mini scrimmages.
The girls were ecstatic to be at an NHL rink and were in awe of the players they watch on screen in real life. As fans, they got to take selfies with players through the glass. As professional athletes, they were surrounded by reporters from local media.
“You have your dreams come true, but this is bigger than that,” Lateefa Alsowaidi, the assistant captain of the UAE team said as she described the opportunity to be in Washington.
The center has played hockey for eight years and has dreamt to meet the Capitals, especially captain Alex Ovechkin.
“It is wonderful to be here and get into the hockey atmosphere where we all share the same amount of love for hockey,” Alsowaidi said.
She described their home crowds as much smaller than those in America and Canada, where hockey is very popular. Seeing the shared passion for the sport has made the visit even more special.
“Today, I truly believe that dreams do come true!”
After their trip overseas on @etihadairways, the United Arab Emirates Women’s National Hockey Team are here at @kettlericeplex to watch practice and participate in a hockey clinic. Tomorrow night they’ll drop the first puck at the game. #HockeyIsForEveryone #ALLCAPS
A post shared by Washington Capitals (@capitals) on
The team’s once-in-a-lifetime trip doesn’t end in Washington. They will be traveling to Chicago and Ottawa to visit with the Blackhawks and Senators later next week.
I had a blast getting to know the girls and capturing their fun moments with players, as well as their hard work on the ice. You can see my gallery from the day below.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.