7 December 2017

Kenya: Elect Officials Who Will Help Revive Hockey

opinion

There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your next performance the next time," said American revolutionary activist Malcolm X.

Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) can borrow a leaf from these words and restructure in order to reach the glory days of the 1970s and 80s where qualification for the Word Cup and other major tournaments was like fastening a seat belt.

I'm a passionate fan of hockey and I would hate to see its rich history in Kenya slowly go down the drain. It must be said that the way things are headed, we might as well brace for a roller-coaster ride.

A little bird (well several actually) confided in me a few weeks ago that they had issues with the management based on how it handled players' welfare and overall running of the league.

Yet we have a golden opportunity to put things right when KHU holds elections on December 16. But will we take it?

To put this in perspective, KHU should first of all put its house in order by coming up with a structured league format that is all inclusive. It is disappointing to find that one team led the league's table of standings at some point, having played five of six matches more than other title contenders due to 'irregular allocation of fixtures.

From my experience, I fathom that this scenario is a reporter's nightmare, especially when one has to write match previews and reviews. Butali Warriors (formerly Kisumu Simba) who have won the men's premier league twice in the last three years, has had to play catch-up throughout the season.

A national team is a source of pride for any nation. But poor and late preparations for tournaments by our national teams have been commonplace.

The men and women's teams to the recent 2017 Africa Cup of Nations held in Egypt suffered huge losses. That did not come as a surprise, given the poor preparations before the tournament. South African teams dominated the tournament, with little opposition from Egyptian teams.

KHU needs officials who can preside over the growth of hockey at the grassroots, beyond Nairobi, Kisumu, Nakuru and Mombasa. We need a total overhaul of KHU leadership when the federation holds elections.

The current office has failed to deliver. Will we take the opportunity to elect good leaders at KHU next week?

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