ITALIAN hockey player Valentina Queroute has expressed her dismay over lack of women's hockey teams in Tanzania and has challenged the country's women and girls to take on the game seriously.
Speaking to the 'Daily News' over the weekend, Queroute said she would like to see Tanzanian women taking part in the sport as their men counterparts. The Dar es Salaam-based former Italian national team member, Quoroute, believes Tanzania is blessed with talented players and only need someone to identify and support them.
"I'm a hockey player, since I came to Tanzania I have neither seen women nor girls practice the game. I want to see this changed," she said. Queroute said she has already introduced the idea to the Dar es Salaam Region Hockey Association (DRHA).
The absence of female teams means Queroute has no option but mingle with male players in training. But it is the fact that she cannot compete in tournaments, like the ongoing Mapinduzi tournament, that makes her angrier. Nonetheless, DRHA have started working on Queroute's idea, as revealed by the association's Secretary Mnonda Magani.
"Plans are underway to introduce the game at school level where girls will have the chance to practice," said Magani adding that for the start they have earmarked Lugalo Primary and Makongo Secondary schools all in the city, as their starting point. Magani thanked Queroute for her passion towards the game and her willingness to support.
He said that Queroute also donated some sports gear that would help them when they embark on schools programmes. Magani, however, warned that they will still need more support to run the programme smoothly. Hockey is a family of sports in which two teams play against each other by trying to maneuver a ball or a puck into the opponent's goal using a hockey stick.
Field hockey, in this case, is played on gravel, natural grass, sand-based or waterbased artificial turf, with a small, hard ball. The game is popular among both males and females in many parts of the world, particularly in Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. In most countries, the game is played between single- sex sides, although they can be mixed-sex.