The ancient Chinese watercraft known as The Dragon Boat made its first ever appearance in Egypt's Nile river after the recent inauguration of Egypt's first Dragon Boat Academy at Mohamed Aly Club, which successfully held Egypt's first Dragon Boat festival last October, China Daily reports.

The founder of Dragon Boat Academy Ehab Gouda, who is the first to ever introduce the sport in Egypt, trained and reached the mastery level on the 2500-year-old sport in Hong Kong and Guangzhou, before taking the exciting water sport home. " It brings Egypt and China closer and will enable us to send Egyptian players to join dragon boat racing in China and host Chinese teams here in Egypt," says Gouda to China Daily, adding that he believes sports give people hope in the future and brings them closer together despite their differences.

On May 20th, Dragon Boat Academy is to host the 2nd festival of its kind in Egypt, which will see the academy's trainees compete in Egypt's name against professional teams from Spain and Cyprus. The race will mark the first time that these human-powered dragon boats compete on the iconic Nile. "Having the Nile River makes us always connected with water, so I believe the dragon boat sport can easily spread in Egypt as it is connected with the Nile River," says Academy trainee Abeer Ali, further expressing her belief that such a sport would bring people of river-based old civilisations even closer together.

Photo: BBC