Tuesday, 19 August 2008
Photo courtesy of Kenyapage.net
Over the weekend I took my forays to the City Park upon the invitation of one of our local players and enthusiast- (thanks Becks for an eye-opening afternoon) I had not been to the Park before and the aura didn’t disappoint. The turf as laid sometime in 2007-8 for Olympic qualifiers then was looking good.
Unlike most other Kenyan games, there’s quite a large following of the Asian and more so the Sikh community. In fact on this day, there was a Global Peace Federation/Sikh Community sponsored game featuring former Kenyan players who played in the Olympics and the current national team. The game was entertaining though short. Some Olympic memories were clearly flowing as some fans kept shouting how some outstanding players ought to be in Beijing playing for Africa.
Up until 1988, Kenya had represented Africa in 7 .times (the others being the 19 56 and 1960-as Britain’s colony, and‘64, ’68,’72, ’84 and finally ‘88 Games).
There was also a ladies game which was rather slow and full of stoppages-Sliders won it Impala 6-0. The other was a men’s game with one of the top sides Simba Union winning 2-0 against Karate Axiom.
Among some things Kenya Hockey Union needs to address;
- Safety procedures at the pitch- one lady player fainted and collapsed in a heap and there were no medics in sight. Being in the vicinity of a major health institution, surely you can’t lack a paramedic to sit through to be ready for such emergencies
- Lighting – if a game extends beyond 6.30 p.m. most likely it will be abandoned due to poor lighting.
- Fan area- the space might seem big for now but if the league was to improve there would be need to extend the space though room for such development seems scarce as enough flats are coming up around the area.
- Can the fixtures’ secretary please process the year’s calendar? Most teams are groping in the dark was to which are their next games or when and who they play.
- Safety of the parking-the area’s just too open and consideration can be made to secure the grounds. There’s also an unpleasant spot right near there which I guess the City Council ought to visit and repair.
- The sport badly requires some technical expertise from foreign coaches and players. This may enable our local players improve their game to be able to get back to the international stage.
- Sponsorship-corporate and local support wouldn’t hurt to motivate the teams play a better game and entice us to go their on a more regular basis.
I must say the changing rooms and lavatories are fairy clean compared to other national facilities. I guess some support from the locals has been forthcoming.
In my ongoing circuit to learn and understand as many of our local sports, I’ll frequent the place more not just for the sake of reporting but also supporting local growth. I’ll be truly grateful to see not just the gents’ team make it back to the international scene but also the ladies too.
Why don’t you join in the fun one of these weekends at the City Park hockey grounds?