A group from the Jordanian Taekwondo Federation watched the Columbus Blue Jackets ©Getty Images

A group from the Jordanian Taekwondo Federation (JTF) watched an ice hockey game for the first time after being invited to see National Hockey League (NHL) team Columbus Blue Jackets.

The group travelled to the United States as part of an exchange programme with Black Belt Pro Fitness, which visited Jordan in 2019.

Four athletes, a referee, a national team coach and the high-performance director were present as the Blue Jackets beat Washington Capitals 2-1 in a pre-season game.

"We are here in the second phase of our amazing exchange programme, and we are very excited to cheer on the Columbus Blue Jackets," said Wa'el Abu Erhayem, the executive director of the JTF. 

"There are so many lovely people here and we are so thankful for them receiving us."

Nicole Rouhani, a programme coordinator at non-Governmental organisation World Learning, helped build the relationship between Black Belt Pro Fitness and the JTF.

"We were invited by the state department to go to Jordan for a sports diplomacy exchange programme in 2019," said Chris Hershberger, the President and chief executive of Black Belt.

"We had a strong affiliation with Olympic taekwondo, but, in 2019, we got the chance to spend time and establish a relationship with their group. 

"Now, in 2022, we finally got them [to Ohio] and we're excited to have them here and to have them at a Blue Jackets game."

Hershberger's daughter Natalie is an eight-time national champion and has the goal of competing at the Paris 2024 Olympics.

"World Learning is just one of many partner organisations of the state department, and we help implement their exchange programmes," Rouhani said. 

"It's wonderful to think there is an entire division within the department working on how to use sports to create youth empowerment, women empowerment and to help community building like you're seeing here with Chris and the Jordanian Taekwondo Federation. 

"That's the goal - peace through sports."