OPINION | Joy Drop: Bottoms Up To The Many 'mocktails' Dry January Brings | CBC Sports


CBC Sports Senior Contributor Shireen Ahmed’s weekly roundup of the things that struck her from the week that was.

CBC Sports’ senior contributor Shireen Ahmed on the week’s happier moments

Shireen Ahmed · for CBC Sports

· Posted: Jan 19, 2024 9:23 AM EST | Last Updated: 36 minutes ago

Dry January brings many varieties of alcohol-free drinks. (Craig Chivers/CBC) (Craig Chivers/CBC)It’s the most wonderful time of the year! My birthday is next week and I can’t wait for the celebrations to begin. I am looking forward to seeing people I love and care about.

First of all, many of you know that I love cats, and I love women’s hockey.

As such, I was so thrilled with the final results of a TikTok for CBC Sports I made with my colleague extraordinaire, Sophie Baron. She’s a genius and this particular reel is my favourite ever because it features my own beloved fur baby, Tara.

There are so many things in the month of January that I find to be excellent. One of them is the Dry January hype that surrounds us. As someone who doesn’t drink, it’s nice to have mocktail ideas and zero proof libations to choose from. I found a lovely article with 17 recipe ideas for Dry January.

There are so many accounts that feature mocktail recipes; Mono Mocktails has a massive following and beautiful and enticing recipes. 

I was really excited to have the chance to attend my friend Matthew R. Morris’s book launch coordinated by Another Story Bookshop at Lula Lounge in Toronto. His first book, Black Boys Like Me, is a masterpiece. It’s a beautifully written and vulnerable memoir that examines Blackness, identity, masculinity, sports, culture and education. Morris is an educator, a thinker and his writing is formidable.

The evening was truly special and I was on a panel with Morris, CBC Commotion host Elamin AbdulMahmoud, writer and journalism professor Eternity Martis, and educator and activist Nigel Barriffe. Jadyn Scott gave a riveting performance of spoken word poetry and the crowd was engaged and excellent. It was an evening where we all leaned into community and spaces that elevate books, art, and powerful discussions enveloped in joy. My proverbial cup was so, so full.

Speaking of joy, AFCON is among us! One of the greatest soccer tournaments we are blessed to witness. 

I wrote about AFCON and what it means to football culture on a global scale. I keep going back to read the excellent writing and coverage of my friends at Africa is a Country. It’s a fantastic blog dedicated to fantastic writing and analysis of African sport, politics, and society. 

Among the things making me happy is the beautiful music coming from the tournament.

The theme song is by artists Magic System Feat Yemi Alade & Mohamed Ramadan and called AKWABA which means “welcome” in a Ghanaian dialect called Twi. 

I hope you are celebrated and continue to celebrate!


Shireen Ahmed is a multi-platform sports journalist, a TEDx speaker, mentor, and an award-winning sports activist who focuses on the intersections of racism and misogyny in sports. She is an industry expert on Muslim women in sports, and her academic research and contributions have been widely published. She is co-creator and co-host of the “Burn It All Down” feminist sports podcast team. In addition to being a seasoned investigative reporter, her commentary is featured by media outlets in Canada, the USA, Europe and Australia. She holds an MA in Media Production from Toronto Metropolitan University where she now teaches Sports Journalism and Sports Media. You can find Shireen tweeting or drinking coffee, or tweeting about drinking coffee. She lives with her four children and her cat.

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